Have you ever thought about the environmental impact of owning a pet? From backyard waste to shredded dog toys, our pets have their own carbon footprints. Thankfully, there are many easy and effective ways to cut down on that impact and help protect the environment.Pet waste is one of the most obvious problems. It is important to safely dispose of dog and cat feces, as letting it sit outside can contaminate waterways and make people and other animals sick. Picking it up in a plastic bag is the most common way to handle these messes, but many of those bags sit in landfills endlessly. To avoid this, look for biodegradable plastic bags, which are carried in many pet stores. You can also go extra green by composting your pet waste. Just don’t use that compost for food crops. For cats, look into flushable or compost-friendly litters.
Consider ways to minimize the amount of purchases you make. Reuse plastic bottles such as milk jugs or soda bottles by covering them with durable fabric and letting your dog play with them. Buy beds and collars made from recycled material such as canvas from old sails or environmentally friendly materials such as hemp. Patch things up where you can rather than simply throwing them away.
See if there are ways to adjust your pet’s diet, such as by feeding locally sourced raw foods that cut down on shipping requirements and factory farming. Buy in bulk where possible, but don’t overdo it with foods that might go bad.
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Help the bigger picture by spaying or neutering your pet so you don’t accidentally add to the overpopulation problem, and adopt from a shelter rather than buying from a breeder. Control your pet’s behavior as well. Don’t let your dogs harass wildlife, and consider keeping cats indoors since they have a serious impact on fragile bird populations.Keeping a pet in an eco-friendly manner may require a bit of work and creativity, but saving the environment is worth it. Learn how to recycle common household goods while helping birds build their nests.
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