Thursday, October 18, 2012
Bluegrass PRIDE: Reduce your pets’ carbon footprints by turning food, toys, beds green
I am the proud owner of many animals: dog, cats, fish, I even have a groundhog living in my barn. Every day I take steps to reduce my carbon footprint, but recently I’ve been thinking, “Are my pets green?”
With just a little bit of research, I learned that turning your pets green and lowering their carbon footprints takes very little effort.
Here are some steps I’ll be taking to make my pets greener citizens:
1. Buy natural pet foods, or better yet, make you own pet food and pet treats. It seems that every day there is another recall on some kind of food or treats that are making our pets sick! There are many recipes on the internet for pet food and treats (try Pinterest) and most recipes consist of ingredients already found in your kitchen!
2. Make your own shampoo and flea spray for your animals. Apple cider vinegar works great for itchy dogs. Dawn (although not natural) makes a great flea shampoo.
This eco-friendly pet bed is made from fleece derived from recycled plastic. (Photo from thedailygreen.com)
3. Buy natural hemp collars, beds, and toys. Hemp is a durable material that is natural and hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for sensitive or itchy dogs.
4. Always scoop your dog’s poop, and use biodegradable bags. Abandoned pet waste can have a tremendous impact on water quality. Also try biodegradable litter for the cat’s box.
5. Make your own toys. Those mismatched socks left behind in your dryer can be reused to make great tugging toys. You can turn an old tennis ball into a Kong-type ball to fill with treats. Once again, there are many more ideas to be found online.
6. Adopt a pet from your local shelter. I know this cannot always be the case, but if you can, the shelter is full of animals in need of a good home. Why drive a long distance to buy a dog from a breeder when you can adopt a homeless pet right in your own town, saving fuel in the process?
7. Finally, have your pet spayed or neutered to help control the pet population.
Michelle Patterson majored in Mass Communications at Eastern Kentucky University. Now the mother of three children she saw how important environmental education was for a brighter future and was more than happy to join Bluegrass PRIDE as their new Administrative Assistant. Michelle enjoys sports, gardening and spending time with her friends and family. She lives in rural Fayette County with her husband, three children, dog and cats.