The best way to live a more eco-friendly life is by making small changes to your everyday routine. This same logic can be applied to the plans you make with your pet. You don’t need to overhaul your current routine with your pet – instead, you can apply these small changes to make your plans more eco-friendly.
Unfortunately, the term “biodegradable” can be a bit misleading. For a product to be labelled as biodegradable, it must completely break down within a reasonably short period of time. However, many products require specific conditions to properly break down that are not met in landfills. Instead of biodegradable, look for pet waste bags labelled “fully compostable”. Compostable bags are made of natural plant starch and contain no toxic materials, making them your most eco-friendly option. Just remember that if you do your own composting, pet waste should never be mixed in with compost you will use around your property as it can contain pathogens that are harmful to humans.
Toys are a must-have for both your home and when you’re on the go, but regularly refreshing your pets toy collection can leave quite an environmental footprint. To make your pet’s toy use more eco-friendly start by limiting their collection to a few items they really love. Then when you feel like they need something new, get creative with things you have around your house. For example, a toilet paper roll can be transformed into a treat-dispensing toy for your cat or a plastic container could be used to create an ice mould to provide your dog with cool entertainment on a hot day. These are great because they can easily be brought with you when you travel and can be recycled after use if you don’t want to bring them back home.
Instead of bringing a single-use water bottle for your pet when you leave the house, invest in reusable products that you can bring on any outing. The most important item you want to have is a collapsable water bowl. Look for one that collapses completely – so it’s easy to store when not in use – and made from a quick-drying material like silicone. It can also double as a food bowl, if needed. Alternatively, there are several water bottles designed specifically for dogs with dispensers that allow them to drink directly from the bottle.
An easy way to reduce you and your pet’s carbon footprint is by opting to visit locations you can walk to, rather than drive. This is the perfect opportunity to make a point of checking out new hiking or walking trails in your area or see what pet-friendly establishments are available nearby. And it goes without saying that exploring new trails or other pet-friendly local places should also be done while social distancing, of course.
These changes aren’t necessarily big, but when put together they can make the plans you have with your pet significantly more eco-friendly. The good thing about starting small is that they won’t require a huge adjustment in your routine. You’ll be able to do all of the things you and your pet enjoy, just in a way that’s a little bit greener!