How to reduce your carbon paw print!

Oct 04 2011

As a pet owner there are a number of things that you can do in order improve your pet’s healthy and quality of life all the while reducing their carbon paw prints. Here are a few ideas:

1. Adopt a pet: There are so many adorable and lovable pets at your local animal shelters just waiting to find a new home! By adopting a pet you not only will save a life but also you won’t be supporting mass breeding pup mills which are infamous for animal abuse.

2. Organic food: Many generic cat food brands are known to contain harmful and disgusting ingredients such as pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and animal byproducts. Although, organic foods may be slightly more pricey they may be worth investing in in the long run since pets that eat better are healthy. Consequently, helathier pets have lower bills.  

3. Spay and neuter: 70, 000 puppies and are born everyday in the United States. This far exceeds the number of individuals that want to adopt a new furry friend! Thus, by spaying or neutering your pet your are not only ensuring a healthier life for them but also reducing the number of animals in shelters.

4. Fleas and ticks: The first thing to remember here is to keep your home and your pets CLEAN. Comb them on a daily basis (especially during flea season!) using a tight-toothed flea comb. If you find any fleas drop them into a soapy bucket to prevent them from spreading. You can also add brewer’s yeast and garlic to your pets food. This will cause them to taste bad to invading insects and therefore reduce the risk of your fury friend falling victim to fleas and ticks! Citronella, tea tree, and eucalyptus can be used as natural repellants.

5. Getting rid of their ‘business’: After taking the plastic ban pledge you may find yourself wondering what is a good alternative for disposing your pets poop. One idea is using biodegradable bags which will ensure that your pets poop is not left in a landfill for hundreds of years. Cat owners should fully avoid clumping clay litter. The clay sediment is laced with silica, a know carcinogen, which is bad for your cats lungs as well as the environment. Moreover, the sodium bentonite the main ingredient responsible for clumping can poison and clog up your cats insides as it can expand up to 18 times its size. There are many alternative eco-friendly kitty litters available on the market. If you are feeling really earth friendly you can make your own kitty litter. Here is one recipe:

1) Shred newspaper in a paper shredder. I collect the shredded paper in an unused litter box.
2) Soak the paper in warm water mixed with a few squirts gentle, biodegradable dish soap. The shredded paper takes on a cooked oatmeal consistency. The paper won’t come completely clean, but the water will turn grey.
3) Drain the water (an old colander works wonders) and repeat the soaking process minus the soap.
4) Sprinkle baking soda liberally on the wet paper. Knead it in to the mixture (you might want to wear gloves to avoid getting ink on your hands).
5) Squeeze the remaining moisture out until it’s as dry as you can get it.
6) Crumble over a screen and leave to dry (it takes a few days).

Once it’s dry, I put about an inch and a half to two inches of the paper crumbles in the litter box, scoop solids daily and change it once a week. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to make a 2-3 week supply of litter. It’s could be kind of fun to make especially if you get the kiddies involved!

6. Buy in bulk and recycle packaging: By buying in bulk you are reducing the amount of packaging used and the number of car trips taken. Moreover, you are saving yourself some money! Be sure to properly recycle all food packing including cans, bags, and bottles.

7. Natural grooming and pet-care products: One thing to be aware of here is that many pet shampoos and other grooming products contain a harmful variety of chemicals. Read the ingredients on the label mindfully before purchasing any pet-care product!

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