Green Pet Care
We are all trying to lessen the impact of our lifestyle on the environment. As we learn to go green with our lives, there are some easy ways to reduce your pets' global impact as well.
Every year approximately 10 million tons of pet waste is added to the country's landfills, including 2 million tons of non-biodegradable cat litter. Clay-based kitty litter is not an eco-friendly product, so consider the wide range of biodegradable and organic kitty litter made from plant-based materials such as wood shavings and sawdust, recycled paper or corn cobs.
Scoop the Poop
Clean up after your dog. Dog droppings can introduce parasites and toxins to your neighborhood, and can contaminate streams and other waterways. Instead of plastic waste bags, choose biodegradable bags which break down more quickly and allow their contents to do the same. On a larger scale, consider new alternatives to pet waste collection for your neighborhood. In 2006, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to introduce a program to convert pet waste into energy through use of "methane digesters". These digesters create methane gas which can be piped directly to appliances powered by natural gas.
The green shopping practices we are adopting for our families can also be followed when shopping for pets: look for sustainably produced and organic pet foods, soaps and shampoos. Select pet toys made from recycled materials. Choose organic cotton towels for your pet, and look into pet beds made from organic/recycled materials.
Green Home Cleaning
For green home cleaning use baking soda which is non-toxic to use around dogs, cats, and other pets. You can clean most anything using baking soda, white vinegar, or both. For example, use baking soda and a drop of dish detergent to scrub out your kitchen and bathroom sinks. Use baking soda and white vinegar to scour the shower walls. Spritz white vinegar on your kitchen counter to clean it. Vinegar is the natural super-cleaner, killing mold, bacteria and germs all over your home. Bonus: ants and spiders don't like the smell of vinegar and avoid surfaces cleaned with it.
For the Fish
Consider using real oxygenating plants in your fish tank. Your fish will have fresher water, a food source, and won't be harmed by toxins that can seep out of plastic toys. When you use real plants in your tank you may also be able to eliminate the bubbler and reduce your electricity consumption.
Feeding your pet sustainably produced and organic foods, using green pet products, and cleaning up pet waste responsibly are easy ways to go green with your pets.