Reduce Your Animal Companion’s ‘Carbon Pawprint’
So, you’ve switched to compact fluorescent light bulbs, lowered the thermostat a few degrees, and started biking or carpooling to work. Well done, young “green” grasshopper! But what about the other members of your family—namely, your animal companions? You can reduce their “carbon pawprints,” and here’s how:
Keep Kitty indoors. Cats who are allowed to roam outdoors terrorize, maim, and kill countless native birds and other wildlife who already struggle to survive challenges such as habitat loss and who don’t stand a chance against cats. By keeping Fluffy indoors, you’ll also protect her from a slew of dangers, including being hit by vehicles, being poisoned, getting lost, being abused or killed by cruel people, and worse.
Serve ‘em vegan meals. Going vegan is the single most effective thing that we can do to fight climate change and cruelty to animals, so why not get your animal companions in on the act? Check out our how-to page to learn how you can feed dogs and cats a healthy and nutritious vegan diet.
Use recycled and biodegradable kitty litter. Clumping, clay-based litters use strip-mined clay (bad news for the planet) and contain silica, a carcinogen that can be inhaled, as well as sodium bentonite, which can clog cats’ intestines when they groom themselves (bad news for Kitty and you). There are plenty of environmentally friendly, nontoxic litters available, made out of everything from old newspapers to pine, corn, and wheat. Try a few to see which your kitty prefers.
Use biodegradable bags for Poochie’s poo.
That way, it can decompose in the landfill instead of sitting there for eons in a plastic bag. Even better, check into dog poop composting!
Clean up your act with “green” animal shampoos and household cleansers.
Choose gentle shampoos made from natural, sustainable ingredients, and make sure Scooby’s suds are cruelty-free
. Same goes for the potions you use to clean up doggie and kitty messes around the house!
Don’t “litter”—spay or neuter. “Littering”—i.e., allowing your animal companion to bring another litter of puppies or kittens into a world that is tragically short on good homes for all the animals who already exist—is truly a dirty thing to do.
Adopt animals from shelters instead of buying them from breeders or pet stores. It’s the ultimate in “recycling”—you’ll be giving a loving, adorable, healthy, and perfectly fabulous homeless dog or kitty a second chance at life! Got other green ideas for animals? Share them in the comments!