When you think of ways to be sustainable, you probably start by thinking of things you do for yourself every day. Maybe you’ll stop washing a pair of jeans after every wear, or purchase a reusable water bottle, or find ways to repurpose a used yogurt container as tupperware. These are all great methods of being more sustainable, but there’s one member of the family that isn’t usually called on to be more sustainable: the dog. No, you don’t need to start telling your dog to start recycling. However, as a pet owner, there are some things you can be doing to help protect the planet.
Here are 3 things you can do as a pet owner to be more sustainable:
One of the not-so-glamorous parts of being a dog owner is cleaning up after your pet goes to the restroom. Luckily, there are plenty of products that help make this job easier. While you may think it doesn’t make a difference how you clean up after your pet, it does matter. As of 2019, 500 million plastic poop bags were being used each year (1). To make matters worse, each bag takes 500 years to degrade in a landfill. So, how can you help?
1. Buy earth-friendly poop bags- Earth-Rated produces poop bags that are made of recycled materials. Plus, they’re compostable and react to factors like heat, which can speed up the process.
2. Reuse a plastic bag from the store- Many of us keep dozens of plastic bags from the grocery store in our house at all times. You can give these bags a purpose by using one as a poop bag the next time your furry friend needs to use the restroom.
2. Play Time
It’s important to have toys for your pets. Without them, your pet may become bored and destructive, even tearing up your belongings as an act of rebellion. You should try to get a good selection of toys to keep your little buddy entertained at all times. When it comes to the planet, not all toys are built equal. Many dog toys on the market are made of plastic, particularly ones that won’t decompose. You can help curb this issue by opting for toys that can be recycled when your pet is done with it, such as products from West Paw. This durable dog bone they offer can simply be sent back to West Paw when your dog is done with it, and then it will be repurposed. You can also go a different material route with something unique, like the adorable crocheted dog toys from Ware of the Dog. The products are all hand-crocheted, and you can pick anything from an ostrich to a bagel with cream cheese.
3. Food on-the-go
What do you do when you need to take a meal for your dog on-the-go?? For many, they grab a Ziploc bag and seal some kibble in and head on their way. Then, they might bring a bowl along for their pet to eat out of. However, there are easier, and more sustainable, ways to do this. Rather than wasting the plastic associated with each Ziploc bag, you can repurpose old tupperware containers. Most people would prefer to not eat out of the same container as their pets, no matter how much they love them. So, whenever you think about tossing a pasta-stained tupperware, put it aside for your pet. They won’t notice the difference, and it’ll act as both a bowl and a carrier for their meal. Win-win!