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 also reduce their “carbon pawprints” by taking the following steps:
- Keep your cat 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 don’t stand a chance against cats. By keeping them indoors, you’ll also protect them from a slew of dangers, including being hit by vehicles, being poisoned, getting lost, being abused by cruel people, and other dreadful fates.
- Serve them 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 in order to learn how you can feed dogs and cats a healthy and nutritious vegan diet.
- Use recycled and biodegradable cat litter. Clumping, clay-based litters use strip-mined clay and contain silica, a carcinogen that can be inhaled, as well as sodium bentonite, which can clog cats’ intestines when they groom themselves. Luckily, 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 poop. That way, it can decompose in the landfill instead of sitting there for eons in a plastic bag. There are also washable, reusable poop bags and training pads. 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. Make sure that your companion animal’s suds are cruelty-free. Same goes for the potions you use to clean up dog and cat messes around the house. Check out our database to search for cruelty-free supplies for your companion!
- 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 already tragically short on good homes—is truly a dirty thing to do. Spaying or neutering your animal companion is the single most effective thing that you can do to help end animal overpopulation, so what are you waiting for?
- 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 cat a second chance at life!