April showers bring May flowers along with spring cleaning, pollen and more daylight. Earth Day is coming up. Many companies are using this time to highlight their eco-friendly products and help you decide on whether you can make your own routines eco-friendly. The Iams doggy newsletter had an article on how you can "Go Green with your Pet". Here are some of their suggestions.
1. Dog Waste-use either biodegradable bags to pick it up or compost it. I use biodegradable bags that are handy in a little fire hydrant dispenser attached to my dog's leash. Many stores carry such bags. However, they are not the most budget friendly item. I buy them when I have a $/$$ coupon for Petsmart or Petco. When those aren't available I pick them up at Target. I can often get a giftcard through their pharmacy with a new prescription or transferring one or through the many ad deals they offer. This is a great way to reduce your cost. Also, look for stores that give out recycled bags or biodegradable ones that you can use to clean up after Fido. I've noticed that more stores are moving towards eco-friendly bags. This would be another way to pick up bags without incurring an additional cost. Another way as the article suggests is to compost it. However, I find this would only work if you had the drive and energy to actually compost and the space for it. Although, there are alternatives for those in cities and apartments to compost through an indoor compost bin.
2. Use natural cleaners and remove toxins from your home. Their point here is that everytime your dog rolls around on your carpet or walks through grass they pick up pollutants. Then when they go to clean themselves, they ingest it. While you can't protect your pet from everything, you can reduce the toxins found in your home. I've made the switch to more natural cleaners and I love it. I love that I don't feel like I'm getting high while cleaning and actually enjoy the odorless or scent friendly cleaners. And guess what, they work! The best part is that they are also budget friendly! I recently got a bottle of Natural Source(is that the name?) for .50 cents after double coupons at Kmart. You can also make your own natural cleaning solutions using vinegar, baking soda and borax. Walgreens had 7th generation cleaning products on clearance recently for as little as 2.00 a bottle. Eco-friendly doesn't have to mean more expensive.
3. Buy dog food in bulk rather than smaller portions. Confession time, I am guilty of this. I often buy 10lbs of dog food or less at a time. Why? I do it for two reasons. First, my dog gets tired of eating the same time of dog food after about 5lbs of it. It's strange and yes, I could teach her that what is there is what there so eat it. However, with coupons and sales I can often get different brands or flavors of dog food for a low cost. This works out for her feeding habits and my buying habits. However, it's not great for the enviroment as it means more packaging in landfills. I suppose I could start looking for more wetfood deals and using that to mix up her regular flavor dog food. Cans are easy to recycle unlike dog food bags.
4. Buy products with ecofriendly materials like recycled plastics and natural fibers. I don't really do this. I probably should make more of an effort on this point. However, I do recycle her toys by restuffing them.
5. Spay and Neuter: I think this point is more a of a public service annoucement along with friendly tip. After all the larger a population the more resources they take up. Wild or Feral cat populations can bring negative impacts to wildlife and plant life. Dogs, do the same. By keeping the population lower it means more resources for plant life and other wildlife and a more balanced ecosystem. I was required by Georgia state law to spay my pup when I adopted her from animal control. Even without this requirement, I would have had it done. Spaying or neutering your pet does not have to be expensive. Many rescue groups and shelters offer low cost clinics to reduce the cost. Some even sell vouchers as a fundraising opportunity. Don't just assume that it's too expensive.
If you have any other eco-friendly pet tips please share!