Happy Earth Day besties! 🌎
It feels weird to say happy Earth Day because EVERYDAY should be Earth Day. But we definitely appreciate the sentiment and the reminder that we all need to be more eco-conscious with our day-to-day living. Which brings us to our blog post today. Earth Day this year got us thinking about what we can be doing differently with our pups because there's always room for improvement. We did some research into the areas in which we thought we could improve, and wanted to share our ideas with you.
So without further ado, here are 4 ways to be more green with your dog.
1. Eco-Friendly Pet Food
The meat industry is well known for it's negative impact on the environment and your dog's food is no exception. Did you know that pet's eat about one fifth of the earth's meat and fish supply? In addition to meat's environmental impact, there's also the question of ethics, as the meat industry has been known to have awful practices when it comes to the raising, farming and processing of meat.
So what can we do as pet parents?
This topic is a tricky one because there are so many factors at play with how we feed our pets. We might not all have the means to feed our dogs a home cooked diet. Some dogs have food allergies and sensitivities that can seriously limit our options. But regardless of our situation, there are some simple things we can all do to try and improve our environmental impact when it comes to feeding our dogs.
1. Where are you sourcing your proteins/meat from? Whether you're cooking a home made diet, or buying from a brand, can you pinpoint where the food is coming from? Does the farm have sustainable and ethical practices in place?
2. Food packaging - How is your dog's food being packaged? Can you recycle the bags/cans/boxes? What about zero-waste options? Do you have a local store that sells pet food in bulk?
3. Treats - How many opened treat bags are in your cupboard right now? Did you buy a bag of treats only to realize your dog won't eat them? (Or is this just picky eater Bear? 😂) Finish a bag of treats before starting a new one or share a treat bag with a friend to limit the amount of waste that can be caused with uneaten treats.
2. Avoid Plastic Dog Toys
Does your dog constantly destroy their toys? Throwing away ripped toys is good for your dog's health (as it minimizes risks involved with swallowing inedible materials) but is bad for the environment, as it contributes to landfill.
Most dog toys are made from plastic derived fabrics and fillings and therefore do not biodegrade when added to the trash. Luckily there's an easy solution to this!
Opt for more eco-friendly options like toys made from recycled materials or natural fibres like hemp, linen or cotton. There are many forward thinking brands that utilize recycled plastics as toy stuffing or as durable materials for rough play.
Don't discredit natural materials like organic cotton, linen or wool. They can be very durable and great options for play.
Psst: We're currently working on a prototype for a new dog toy made with recycled and natural materials so stay tuned!
3. Shop Consciously
The reality is most products sold at major pet retailers are not sustainable. They're mass produced overseas with cheap and often low-quality materials.
Look for locally made options and support small businesses that produce in small batches and care about sustainability + ethical business practices.
Bonus: You'll have more unique items and support an entrepreneurs dream!
4. 💩 Happens
Did you know the city of Vancouver recommends flushing dog waste down the toilet as opposed to tossing it in the trash? While that might not always be possible, tossing your dog's doo in a red dog-waste collection bin is the next best option.
If you're lucky enough to have your own backyard, you can install your own pet waste composter and compost yourself! There are products that you can buy online for this, or you can DIY it with some advice from the city. Check out this link here for more info. Bonus: You can save a lot of money on doggy bags!
Lastly, we recognize most of these options are not ideal (or even possible) for most people, especially those living in urban areas. Even though biodegradable poop bags are not the *ideal* green solution for picking up doo, they are still better than plastic poop bags and (gasp) leaving your dog's poop to decompose au natural.
Micro-organisms in dog waste can cause harm down the line if it's left unattended, and can potentially harm another animal and make them sick. It's safer for everyone if you just pick it up and toss it in the trash!