Many of you will scoff at these ideas, but for those interested there are simple changes we can make to lighten our pet's carbon footprints on the earth. Here, are just a few ideas. We'll likely explore this topic again in the future.
- Leave it to the birds - After brushing your pet, instead of pitching the collected fur in the trash, which ends up in the ocean, a landfill, or is incinerated (creating toxic pollution), simply leave it outside in your yard or a park. Birds will find it and incorporate it into nests, or it will blow away and eventually be recycled by nature.
- Get Crafty - Instead of buying pet toys, which are often made of synthetic materials, re-use and up-cycle packaging and other items in your home instead of pitching them. Think about using yarn and fabric scraps, cardboard boxes, plastic containers. A few scissor snips and knot-tying and voila, you have a fun cat toy!
- Natural Pest Control - Fleas and ticks are real concerns for the pet owner, so finding alternatives to the highly toxic formulas most of us have grown accustomed to using on our animals is a big step toward making healthier pets and planet. Consider using essential oils, homeopathy and anti-pest formulas with less-toxic ingredients. And according to holistic veterinarians, making sure your pet's diet is wholesome and nutrient-rich is the best defense against these pests.
- Healthy Food, Healthy Pet, Healthy Planet - Though preparing high quality food for your pets may seem up front more expensive and time-consuming than scooping up kibble for them, over time it results in a good investment for your pocket since having a healthy pet with a strong immune system will save you on vet bills. Commercial pet foods, even the best, whether wet, moist or dry, are highly processed, nutrient-sparse. Moreover, preparing their food turns out to be comparably-priced to the natural, high-end commercial prepared pet foods. And it benefits the planet in various ways. The environmental cost of packaging, shipping, storing, and distributing pet food has to be tallied, along with the convenience of using them. Commercial pet foods bear little to no resemblance to the diets that dogs or cats would naturally choose for themselves in the wild, so it goes without saying that they can't be good to be for them, and therefore not good to introduce them into our environment (what goes in, must go out!). Whatever you do, try to favor pet foods made from chicken and rabbit meat and avoid those containing red meat and fish which, by comparison, have a much higher environmental impact.
- Unplug - If you're able, avoid using electric-powered watering and feeding dishes, and self-cleaning litter boxes.