Adopting a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle doesn’t need to stop with you, or even with your family; if you’ve got pets of any kind you can probably care for them in a more ecologically sensitive way.
Some suggestions are obvious. For example, pick up after your dog. Dog droppings can introduce parasites and toxins to the ecology of your local park, and can contaminate a stream or field in much the same way that human or livestock waste can.
And while you’re at it, go the extra step use biodegradable bags. They will break down much more quickly, and allow their contents to do the same.
If you’re a cat person, look for biodegradable cat litter options. Kitty litter can be derived from a variety of sources including wood shavings, recycled paper, sawdust, corn cobs, dried orange peels, and even wheat bran all of which present more sustainable options than traditional clay litter, and all of which (and here’s the hook) can be flushed.
When grocery shopping for your pets, read the fine print. In a recent study, a magazine called Whole Dog Journal assessed the front-runners in the dog food industry, and gave failing grades across the board, citing ingredients like food fragments, bone meal, sweeteners, artificial colours, preservatives, phosphate, and animal fat and by-products (read: feet, tongues, and other unappetizing parts). You wouldn’t eat this stuff, and neither should your pet. Natural, healthy options do exist; you just might have to alter your shopping patterns.
Decorate your fish tank with real oxygenating plants, instead of the gimmicky hard plastic variety, and your fish will have fresher water, a food source, and an environment free of the toxins that leak out of plastic toys. You can do away with the noisy bubbler this way, too, which, along with fish tank lamps, gobbles electricity unnecessarily.
Generally speaking, make the same decisions for your pets that you’re making for yourself, and you’re on the right track.