Earth Day: Go Green with Your Pets

Posted April 17, 2018 @ 2:00pm | by Dr. Heidi Fay-Thompson

Earth Day, April 22, was founded in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. Nelson proposed Earth Day as an opportunity for American citizens to speak out about their concerns regarding the environment. He hoped that people would speak loudly enough to impact government decisions. Twenty million people attended festivities across the nation on the first Earth Day! Earth Day has provided significant and lasting change for the environmental protection movement.

Earth Day is a wonderful time for each of us to consider how we can be more environmentally friendly. We have all heard the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. These 3 R’s help minimize pollution and conserve resources, energy, and money. Here are some ways that you and your pet can reduce, reuse, and recycle!

Reduce

  • Carry a reusable water bottle and bowl for your pet – avoid disposable products.
  • Spay or neuter your pet. Help to minimize the pet population. Each pet has a significant impact on the environment. 
  • Get your next furry companion from a rescue or shelter.
  • Avoid impulse purchases or buying products that your pet doesn’t need. Instead, show your pet love by spending time with them!
  • Buy local. This will minimize packing materials and fuel needed to deliver products directly to your home.
  • Buy in bulk. This minimizes packaging and trips to the store.
  • Leave no trace. When playing outside with your pet, make sure to take all items out with you when you leave.

Reuse

  • Reuse shopping bags for scooping the litter box or waste from the yard.
  • While giving leftover table scraps to your pet might seem like the perfect way to recycle them, giving your pet human food can result in obesity, gastrointestinal upset, pancreatitis or even toxicity! Here’s a better idea – put leftover human food in the compost bin instead of feeding it to your pet.
  • Donate gently used blankets and towels to the local pet shelter to be used as bedding for animals.

Recycle

  • Review your local recycling policy and make sure you are recycling as many items as possible.

Now that you have ideas of how to minimize your impact on the environment; here are ideas on how you can help clean it up!

  • Runoff from pet waste can have devastating effects on natural ecosystems. Make sure to clean up your dog’s poop! To minimize the impact on the landfill; consider using biodegradable bags to remove yard waste once weekly.
  • Be an active member of your community – clean-up poop at the dog park.
  • Take your dog on a walk and clean up garbage in your neighborhood.

Now that we have established some simple ways to minimize our impact on the planet, make some time to get out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather!

Resources:
https://www.epa.gov/recycle
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/eco-friendly-way-to-dispose-dog-poop/
 

 
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