We’re all doing our part to be more conscious of our lifestyles and their effect on the environment, but one thing you may not have considered is how to be a more eco-friendly pet parent. 67% of US households (about 85 million families) own a pet according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). That means there’s a lot of pet waste and discarded pet items in landfills, and the numbers are only growing. Being more aware of your footprint as a pet parent is easy, makes your pets healthier, and may even save you money. Here are a few ways to consider being more eco-conscious.
- Donate old crates, beds, tennis balls, food bowls, and pet food or toys your pet doesn’t take to. Look for local shelters that are in need, or create an announcement on Nextdoor to find a family in your neighborhood who will put your items to good use. Leave a bag of tennis balls at your local dog park. There are so many ways to make sure perfectly good, even well-used, items go to use instead of ending up in a landfill.
- Make your own pet treats. Save money, reduce wasteful packaging, and keep your pets from ingesting questionable ingredients by making their snacks yourself. Shaklee Social Media Manager, Diana, loves this recipe for her dog and has made a few of these recipes for her cat. It’s definitely more time consuming, but it’s worth the effort over time, and even something you can get the whole family involved in.
- Purchase items that are packaged with recycled or recyclable materials, from pet food bags to kitty litter. It’s better yet if they’re biodegradable. Purchase food that is responsibly sourced with sustainable ingredients, and you’ll be supporting a healthier pet and planet.
- Use biodegradable poop bags. For cats, use biodegradable cat litter or make your own from newspaper shavings or sawdust. While pet excrement is not compostable and can be a dangerous contaminator to nearby water sources, biodegradable bags break down more easily once in the landfill.
- Play with environmentally friendly toys. Consider which of your “junk” may be your furry friend’s new favorite toy (like old balls, stuffed animals, knotted T-shirts as pull toys, etc.—just make sure it’s safe!). You can even try to make your own; cats are easily entertained with aluminum foil balls or paper towel rolls. Lucky for us, our furry friends are easy to please, as long as we love them.
As you can see, it’d be easy to adopt a few of these, if not all, for a better environment.