While most of us don’t think much about our pets and the environment, there are hundreds of pet product manufacturers who do. They don’t just have an Earth Day concern, but a year-round awareness about what affect more than 225 million pets are having on the world around us. There’s a reason to be concerned. The number of pets in America is rapidly approaching the number of registered automobiles in America - 268.8 million. And if cars are impacting our environment, what do you think our pets are doing? Celebrating Earth Day this month, maybe it’s time to think about how everyday can be earth day by using eco friendly puppy pee pads and other dog care products.
How Having Pets Impacts the Earth
It’s not the fact we have animals that harms the environment. Instead, it’s all the things that go along with having a pet, like plastic bags for poop scooping, cat litter, dog and cat food bags and cans. There are pet toys (tennis balls anyone?), pet beds, pet blankets, pet treats, leashes, collars and more. The list goes on and on. In 2015 Americans spent a total of $23.04 billion on pet food, $14.39 billion on supplies/OTC medicine, $15.73 billion on vet care, $2.19 billion on live animal purchases and $5.24 billion on pet services like grooming and boarding. So, animals most definitely impact our environment.
Short of getting rid of our furry friends and all their toys, balls, beds, shampoo, food and litter boxes, blankets and accessories, the best we can do is become aware of the impact all those items have and do what we can to negate it. Fortunately, there are many pet products that are safe for the environment, and made from sustainable plants. You just have to know where to look to find them, then start buying and using them. Let’s start with the thing that all pets do to impact the world - they pee and poop.
Eco-Friendly Pet Products
From cat litter to chew toys, it’s easy to find eco-friendly products if you know what to look for. First, look at the labels. Most commercial brand pet toys use synthetic materials or ones that come from virgin ore and other natural resources that take years to grow. Look for ingredients like eucalyptus, bamboo, and cotton - all of which grow rapidly and are sustainable crops. Look too for organic wool - it lasts longer and is also biodegradable. It’s not just toys that are organic and biodegradable. So are leashes and collars.
- Naturista Soy Leash. The Naturista leash is made from soy and comes in different colors. Yes, it’s durable and comfortable.
- Wagging Green Bamboo Leashes and collars. You’d be amazed at what people can do with durable, sustainable bamboo. It’s used for everything flooring to yes, dog leashes. Wagging Green’s bamboo leashes are just as strong as any synthetic material on the market. The leash has a sturdy metal clasp and is more comfortable than you’d expect. They come in a variety of patterns
- Krebs Recycled Leash. Krebs recycled leashes are made from repurposed nylon climbing ropes, so they tend to be a little springy. If you have a large dog or a “puller,” you’ll appreciate that feature. They come in a variety of colors.
- Recycled Paper Dog Waste Bags. These dog waste bags are made from recycled paper, meaning they’re biodegradable and less harmful to the environment.
- Flush Puppies Biodegradable Waste Bags. Flush Puppies are a dog waste bag made from a biodegradable material that dissolves in water, so that you can flush the bags in any residential toilet. In fact, experts say that’s the best way to dispose of dog waste. Just don’t knot the bag when you flush and make sure the bags are Flush Puppies biodegradable bags - not any plastic bag!
- Buying organic food for your pet means there are no chemicals to make them sick, resulting in healthier pets. There is less pet waste as your pet absorbs the more nutrient dense food rather than passing it through their body. Once you start your cats and dogs on healthy organic food you’ll notice their poop is smaller and less smelly, plus you’ll be feeding them less - often 50% less - than with the food with filler.
- WizSmart Dog Pee Pads: Made from unused human diapers, the company recycles more than 80 million unused diapers each year into their super absorbent dog pee pads. Instead of going to landfills, WizSmart repurposes them to use as material in their unique super absorbent blend for their pads. Each pad can hold up to 8 cups of urine. They also use Eucapet fiber, a fast drying, super absorbent fiber made from eucalyptus. The renewal cycle for eucalyptus trees is around 6-7 years, which is much faster than trees normally used in pulp manufacturing. This makes eucalyptus a more sustainable fiber. Not only that, but Eucapet is grown by companies committed to Certified Responsible Forestry.
As a pet owner, every day can be Earth Day with the choices you make in purchasing pet care products. If you haven't already considered eco friendly dog pee pads and other earth-friendly pet products, now's a great time to start.