We decided that the month when there’s a holiday devoted to love (yes, we know, it’s a consumer holiday, but we like to flip that idea) was a great month to devote article space to some of the recipients of our hearts – pets. For the rest of the month, we’ll be featuring tips on eco-friendly best practices for all of the lucky, lucky pet owners out there who got rescued by a furry (or non-furry) friend.
Today, we’re focusing on eco-friendly tips for dog owners. We love our dogs so much that we actually used a picture of our own four legged friends for this article. Meet Pierre and Penny! How do we keep Pierre and Penny happy and both eco- and consumer conscious? Here are our tips.
Tip One: ALWAYS Pick Up Poo – in a Biodegradable Bag
If you are a dog owner who doesn’t pick up your puppy’s poo, then you will be a very bad dog owner. Unless the only place your dog goes to the bathroom is in your own backyard, and that backyard is never enjoyed by other people, then picking up poo is a must. But you probably know how we feel about single-use plastic bags. They are worse than unbagged dog poo! Fortunately for you, there are many companies that make their dog poo retrieval bags from biodegradable (and even recycled) materials. There are two main rules you need to follow if you are a dog owner and you don’t want us judging you – pick up the poo and use biodegradable bags to do it!
Tip Two: Buy in Bulk
You’ve probably heard us say that buying in bulk isn’t particularly eco- or budget friendly. And when it comes to most food for your house, that’s true. In most studies, when you do the math you find out that the amount of food that goes to waste when the average family buys in bulk is greater than the reduction in carbon footprint from reduced individual use packaging. But your dog isn’t a human, and your dog is always hungry. You’re not going to be wasting any dog food if you buy it in bulk, but you will be reducing the amount of packaging used on your dog food and, likely, some of the external packaging used to ship it to the store as well. Buying food in bulk for your pooch? That’s a good thing.
Tip Three: Consider Composting Dog Poo
American cats and dogs combined create 10 million pounds of waste per year – and most of it goes into the ether according to Will Briton, a leading scientist in the area. Most dog waste in particular either ends up in a landfill where it may take decades to finally decompose or sits on the ground until natural rain cycles send it to the sewer. While dog poo ending up in a sewer isn’t the worst thing, it’s also not entirely a guarantee that it won’t contaminate local freshwater sources. Creating a compost pile in your back yard or using a store-bought pet-waste composter is the best option for the planet. If you do compost your dog’s waste, make sure it isn’t near to your vegetable garden. The compost won’t heat up enough to kill any e. coli bacteria.
Tip Four: Shop for Dog Supplies Locally
Shopping for your dog is no different than shopping for yourself when it comes to local versus travel time. The fewer “food miles” you can put on what you purchase, the better. It’s also the same when it comes to choosing a local, smaller franchise or a big box pet store. The more you can focus on local retailers and products, the better.
Tip Five: Shop Eco-Friendly
These days, you can essentially buy anything that you need for your dog in an eco-friendly way. From organic or all-natural dog food to collars, leashes and toys made from upcycled or recycled goods. Almost any pet store carries an entire range of these products.
Your pooch likes to be outdoors, so make choices that will help him enjoy a clean planet for years to come!
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