From riding bikes to using energy-efficient appliances and lighting, people have discovered numerous ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle and enjoy it. One problem, however, is that these adults often forget a crucial part of their day-to-day lives when going green: their pets.
Just like humans, pet dogs and cats can negatively impact the environment. Unlike humans, though, these animals rely on people to make green decisions for them. We've brought together six ways you can care for your furry friends without compromising your green lifestyle.
1) Have Your Pets Spayed or Neutered
It's not just a recommendation from Bob Barker any more. More than six million homeless animals are brought into shelters each year, and almost half of these cats and dogs are sadly euthanized. You can do your part as a pet owner to prevent this number from going up by having your pets spayed or neutered. Reducing the number of homeless animals also conserves important resources, such as food and energy.
2) Switch to Natural Grooming Products
Organic shampoos and soaps made from natural materials are better for your pet's overall health, and they are safer for the planet! Many commercial shampoos and soaps on the market today are full of harsh chemicals that easily make their way into the environment when poured down household drains.
3) Shop Responsibly
Be a eco-conscious pet owner by searching for toys, gifts, and supplies made from recyclable, renewable, and/or sustainable materials.
4) Re-think the Litter Box
Much of the commercial kitty litter today is not only harmful to cats and humans, but it also goes directly to a landfill after being thrown away. If you're a cat owner, search instead for green alternatives, such as litter made from recycled newspaper or wood shavings. This keeps your feline friends healthy and the landfills free of contaminated litter.
5) Clean with Homemade Solutions
Rather than spraying chemicals throughout your home to remove pet stains and odors, you can instead use natural, homemade solutions to keep your home clean and smelling fresh. A basic combination of white distilled vinegar, baking soda, and water will clean just as well as those commercial cleaners.
6) Pick Up Waste with Biodegradable Bags
Dog feces contains bacteria that can contaminate bodies of water and cause other animals to get sick. As such, it's important to pick up dog waste on walks and in yards. Regular plastic bags fill up landfills quickly, but you can change this by using a dog waste digester system in your yard and biodegradable plastic bags on walks.