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Becoming more eco-conscious can take many forms: recycling, choosing to receive and pay your bills electronically, composting, choosing transportation that causes less pollution, and buying sustainable products, just to name a few.
Fortunately, your options as a pet parent can be more eco-conscious, too. There are many eco-friendly pet products to choose from that minimize the carbon “pawprint.”
Wondering about the potential benefits of switching to eco-friendly pet products?
When choosing new pet products, you can consider items made of any of the following materials:
There are lots of pet products that can be made from sustainable materials. Here are some common examples.
Pet beds — When searching for the perfect bed for your four-legged friend, look for ones made of all-natural materials such as organic cotton, hemp, wool, or recycled materials. There also are beds you can fill with your own recycled or natural cloth materials.
Poop bags — What’s the difference between compostable bags and biodegradable bags? Under certain conditions, some compostable bags can decay in as little as three months, while biodegradable bags may take three years or more to break down. There also are biodegradable dog waste sheets as an alternative to bags.
Cat litter — You can find cat litter made of biodegradable materials that can be composted. This includes materials such as sawdust shavings, recycled paper, bamboo, wheat, corn, and walnut.
Pet toys — There are plenty of sustainable toys for cats and dogs made of materials such as 100% recyclable filling, rope, natural rubber, organic cotton, hemp, cork, raffia, linen and bamboo.
Cat scratchers — Eco-friendly scratchers are fairly easy to find. Search for ones made of recycled/recyclable cardboard, wood, or sisal fabric, which becomes softer as it is used, as opposed to sisal rope with fibers that can become sharp and uncomfortable.
Pet collars and leashes — It is easy to find eco-friendly collars and leashes that are durable and adorable. Sustainable collars and leashes can be made of hemp, organic cotton, recycled plastics, repurposed rope, vegan cork leather, or bamboo. Some companies even make matching bracelets or tags that you can wear to show the true bond you have with your furry friend.
Pet bowls — Stainless steel bowls can last a lifetime, are easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and non-porous so they won’t become contaminated with bacteria or mold like a plastic bowl. Bamboo bowls are also sturdy, resistant to mildew and mold, and more lightweight than steel.
Pet grooming — You can choose products with eco-friendly packaging such as a pet shampoo bar, an alternative to shampoo sold in a traditional plastic bottle. Or choose a shampoo with natural ingredients such as oatmeal, coconut oil, olive oil, aloe vera or hemp oil.
As you can see, sustainability isn’t too far out of reach. Natural pet products can protect both our pets and our environment. Consider shopping sustainably today.
Nicole Forsyth is president and CEO of RedRover , a non-profit organization that focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the human-animal bond through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. She writes For the Love of Pets for the Bay Area News Group. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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