Guest Blog – 3 Eco-friendly Lifestyle Choices that Pet Owners Can Make – by Wild Earth – Russell Michelson

3 Eco-friendly Lifestyle Choices that Pet Owners Can Make

Households across the UK are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of lowering their carbon footprint. Each time you go shopping, you’re probably looking for green products produced with a minimum impact on the environment. But know that you can also follow the practice when selecting supplies for the furry members of your family. Small choices do make a significant difference.

The Time to Make Greener Choices is Now!

It may interest you to know that an area roughly equivalent to the size of the UK or 49 million hectares of agricultural land is used each year for producing dry food for cats and dogs. Furthermore, 106 million tonnes of carbon dioxide are emitted annually when processing pet food. Over 280 different kinds of pet food are available across the US and the UK, with these two nations alone accounting for close to 65% of global sales.

And, that’s not counting the various other products that pet parents like to buy. You probably purchase shampoos, grooming products, blankets, toys, and a whole collection of other items to keep your fur babies comfortable, healthy, and happy. But, considering the devastating effects on the earth, it’s time to choose brands that cost the planet less. Here are some great ideas to get started.

1. Choose Pet Food Made with Sustainable Ingredients

More people across the UK are now opting to go vegan and make everyday choices that are not just healthier but have a minimal carbon impact. Statistics show that close to 600,000 or 1.16% of the British population is vegan. So, why should the furry members of their households continue to eat meat? If you’ve always thought that meat is an essential part of a canine diet, that’s not exactly true.

Studies have shown that as long as you feed your pet an ideal balance of nutrients, they can thrive on a protein-rich diet that does not necessarily come from animal sources. Choose a vegan dog food that is made with complete plant proteins from sources such as yeast and fungi. These foods contain all the amino acids necessary for your four-legged friends to rebuild tissue and have healthy digestion.

2. Dispose of Pet Waste Responsibly

Collecting and disposing of pet waste is not just a social and civic responsibility, but it is also critical to prevent contaminating the waterways. Rainwater washes away the poop into the drains and it eventually finds its way into the city’s rivers and makes people sick. Further, the nitrogen and phosphorous content can feed slime and algae.

When dealing with cat poop, never flush it away. Keep in mind that not all cities have water treatment plants that clean sewage. You would also want to choose your cat litter brand with care. That’s because many products contain sodium bentonite that is collected using harmful strip mining techniques.

A greener option is to use litter made with newspaper, wheat, corn, or wood. Do some research, and you might find products made with the husks left over from processing cashew and coffee beans. These business solutions to poverty are ideal pre-consumer recycling options that reduce waste and provide livelihoods to thousands of people.

2. Re-use Pet Blankets and Toys

Your furballs don’t need expensive toys, blankets, and other products to keep them amused, warm, and comfortable. Visit the thrift shop, and you might come across a bunch of used stuffed toys belonging to other pets and kids who have outgrown them. Remove any small hard buttons and eyes, and chewy ribbons that can be swallowed. You might also want to check for harmful materials such as polystyrene bead stuffing.

Old blankets and sheets from your bed are especially welcome to your animals since they carry your scent. If you can place an old tee in their beds, your goofballs are going to love to snuggle down. Letting them have an old shoe or sneaker or an empty carton is going to make them just as happy–or happier–than shiny plastic toys.

Including your pets into your eco-friendly lifestyle and lowering their carbon pawprint is possible. Just do some research and make the right choices.