Owning a pet can be great for both body and mind, encouraging you to get outside for a walk or playtime with your four-legged furry friends, providing plenty of unconditional love and sharing the joy when your pet is clearly enjoying themselves. However, with owning a pet comes an increased amount of waste, from extra purchases such as food and toys or the waste your pets themselves create when going to the toilet.This increased amount of waste can have a negative effect on your endeavour to live an eco-friendlier life, although all is not lost. We explore ways you and your pet can live together in harmony without causing extra harm to the planet.
Reducing Waste from Meals
While pet food manufacturers are moving away from plastic storage bags and containers that were previously unbiodegradable, food waste and container rubbish are still one of the biggest means of waste across the globe. Pet foods can have a greater footprint so consider cooking for your pet when you cook for yourself, there are plenty of human-pet recipes available on the internet to make things easier.
If you are concerned you won’t be able to include all the necessary nutrients your pet requires in their diet, look for pet food that uses food by-products that wouldn’t normally be considered human diet friendly. Alternatively, there are several sustainable pet foods available that will offer your pet everything they need for their diet; however, these tend to cost more than their non-eco-friendly alternatives.
You may also choose to get behind eco-conscious brands that not only embed eco-friendly policies in their practices but also produce products that are ethically sourced and made with your pet’s best interest in mind.
Cutting Down Waste from…Waste
Pet potty waste is a given when you invite a furry family member into your home and must be disposed of in the bin rather than flushed away or composted due to the risk of parasites that can transfer into waterways or plants. Whereas plastic bags may be the easier way to scoop and dispose of pet waste, plastic is renowned for being an un-biodegradable material and can spend hundreds of years in landfills or more concerning end up in our already damaged oceans.
Biodegradable waste bags are available, although you could also use an old towel and keep that aside for scooping poop in the future and there are more biodegradable wood and paper pellet cat litters available than ever before. Consider what you use currently and see if you can reduce your pet’s carbon paw print by switching to an eco-friendly alternative.
Buy Second-hand and Donate Items You No Longer Need
While we all love to spoil our pets, the demand for pet-orientated items such as collars, leads, pet-tags and other pet-necessary equipment has created a more wasteful society. We can reduce the need by buying items second-hand where available (and where buying second-hand doesn’t create a health or safety risk). Check out local charity shops, particularly those run by pet rescues organisations or online reselling sites like eBay, you should be able to find a huge amount of second-hand pet items and it’ll often save you money at the same time. Not to mention, there are plenty of companies focused on making eco-friendly toys, helping you reduce the number of environmentally-harmful objects in your home.
When you no longer have a need for certain items, like beds, collars or harnesses your pet may have outgrown or toys they weren’t interested in, you can sell them to other pet owners, making yourself a bit of money back and reducing the need for new products to be continuously produced.
Walk More, Drive Less
Getting out and about with your beloved friend is one of the greatest points of owning a pet and while certain breeds will require a lot more exercise than others, there is little excuse to not walk as many places as you can together. From down the park, on the coast, strolling a hill path or simply heading into your local town. It’s good the environment and a fantastic way to keep both you and your pet fit and healthy.
Cats, in particular, are responsible for the deaths of billions of birds every year, so keeping them inside is extremely good for the environment and there’s no reason you and your feline friend can’t take an extra long stroll if you take the time to train them to walk on a lead or harness.
Are you an eco-friendly pet owner? Or are there things you can be implemented from the above list to ensure you and your pet lead a more environmentally friendly life together? Small changes are the first step in making bigger changes to your lifestyle that can prove to be better all around for both your family and the planet so why not start today?