Reducing your footprint is more than a noble cause. It's a way to slow down the extraction of resources from the earth by reusing existing materials and plant-based products that don't require a lot of water or additional nutrients for growth. You and your pets can go green with a few smart choices and switch to products made from recyclable ingredients that can be recycled or composted. Following are some tips from Blue Sky Vet Clinic staff about items you can introduce into your pet care routines to go green and help the planet.
Switch to Biodegradable Pet Waste Bags
The bags you get from the grocery store are convenient for picking up pet waste, but the bags don't get tossed in the recycling bin after they've been used for waste. That means the plastic stays in the waste stream for a lot longer than it would. Environmentally friendly pet waste bags are an excellent alternative. They're made from cornstarch and other plant-based materials that are safe to use in the compost pile or for throwing away in the garbage can without a second thought.
Buy Products Made From Bamboo
The bamboo tree is just about perfect when it comes to pet products made from sustainable materials. The tree scrubs CO2 out of the atmosphere, grows fast and doesn't require replanting when a trunk is cut away because it regenerates from the original cluster. Bamboo can be woven into fabric and turned into hard-wearing pet beds and made into pet dishes that are compostable.
Look for Toys Made From Recycled Materials
Plastics and rubber are the two main materials used in the construction of pet toys. These materials are used because they're durable, strong and last. They retain these qualities even when recycled and give your cat or dog the same amount of play as if they were made from new rubber or plastic. It's a given that your pets will destroy their toys, especially dogs that love to chew, but most toys can be tossed into the recycle bin and will stay out of the waste stream.
Purchase Cat Litter Made From Biodegradable Materials
Quite a few mainstream manufacturers make cat litter out of corn, wood pulp, grass and sawdust. They all work the same as clumping clay litters and all do an excellent job of absorbing liquids and eliminating odors. You can bag the waste and put it into the garbage bin or put it into the compost pile. The materials will break down over time and turn into useful or inert materials that won't harm the environment.
Use Natural Cleaners
Pets leave messes that require cleaners to disinfect and make it easier to wipe up the offending liquid or solid. Many cleaners use chemicals that are toxic to your pets and the environment. Switch to cleaners that are plant-based or enzymatic. Enzyme cleaners break down stains to the last molecule and plant-based cleaners do a great job of breaking down the messy materials. If you have cats, you might want to skip using a citrus-based cleaner as cats don't care for the smell of citrus. Dogs have no natural bias and are fine with any non-toxic cleaner.
These are some of the ways you and your pet can go green and leave behind a smaller footprint. The more items you can buy for your pet that decompose or are recyclable, the better for the world at large.