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#1Thing: How To Be Zero Waste With a Pet

Joe Cingrana
January 13, 2020 - 12:24 pm
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By Lori Melton

There are lots of simple ways you and your family can help protect the planet at home. For example, recycling, reusing, or repurposing items instead of throwing them away helps reduce waste. You can also conserve water and energy, carpool or walk to school or work, and cut down on plastic usage.

Overall, making eco-conscious efforts in your household is easy enough. However, it’s also important to extend those actions to include caring for your furry family members. These simple tips will help you learn how to be zero waste with your pet.

Switch to Compostable Cat Litter

Composting food scraps, dead leaves, grass clippings, twigs, coffee grounds, and other household items help reduce landfill waste and enriches your soil. Switching from traditional clay-based litter to a biodegradable brand gives a sustainable alternative for your cat.  

World’s Best Cat Litter is one biodegradable brand. It’s made from whole-kernel corn. It’s naturally safe and can be composted. The clumping kind is easy to clean, and it neutralizes odors. It’s important to note that you should make a separate compost pile for the used litter.

Use Biodegradable Waste Bags for Dogs

Plastic bags, packaging, and straws are just a few of the items that are crowding landfills and killing oceanic creatures. Unfortunately, this includes those plastic waste bags we carry to clean up after a pooch when he’s out for a walk.

Thankfully, biodegradable waste bags for dogs can also be composted. Zoorenity makes bags that are 100 percent biodegradable and compostable. They’re made from Cornstarch, PLA, and PBAT and meet BPI certified EN13432 & D6400 standards. Plus, a bonus is that the company donates a portion of sales proceeds to an animal rescue charity.

Repurpose Old Clothing Items to Make Pet Beds and Toys

One way to repurpose old sweaters, shirts, socks, and other old clothing pieces is to use them to make beds, pillows, and pet caves for your furry friends.

According to a blog post from Simplemost.com, you only need a few supplies to make a pet bed from an old comfy sweater. Pick a used sweater from your closet and then gather scissors, a large needle, a pillow, some pillow stuffing, and some yarn or thread. HGTV posted a YouTube video that gives step-by-step instructions for making the cozy bed. Watch it here.

If you’re not feeling too crafty, you can also stuff a fluffy pillow into a cardboard or wooden box to make a cozy pet retreat.

As for toys, pets are a lot like young kids. They can easily amuse themselves by climbing in and out of an empty box. Dogs also love to chew on and play fetch with old socks and slippers. To help the planet, eliminate using plastic pet toys. You can also buy natural hemp toys online at places like PurrfectPlay.com.

Use Eco-Friendly Grooming Products

A variety of eco-friendly pet grooming products are available to help your furry family members look their best. To help protect the planet, you can use a bamboo brush to help keep coats looking smooth and mat-free. Recyclable metal brushes will also work.

When your dog comes in from the rain you can use natural grooming wipes to clean mud off their paws. Earthbath’s pet wipes are completely biodegradable and are fragrance and allergen-free. For bath time, using warm water to rinse off dirt is the most natural option.

Feed Your Pets Eco-Friendly Food

According to an Environmental Working Group study, pets in the U.S. are contaminated with higher levels of toxic industrial chemicals than people. Pets can be exposed to lawn treatment chemicals, food packaging chemicals, and pet food that’s contaminated with PBDE chemicals.

Earth 911 suggests feeding your pets “organic, human-grade, and/or USDA certified organic pet food. Some recommended eco-friendly brands include Newman’s Own Organics, which is made without using harmful pesticides, herbicides, or dangerous chemical additives.

Organix is proudly the leader in organic pet food in America. To date, the company is the only one that offers USDA organically certified pet food. The product line is produced “without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, GMOs, antibiotics, or artificial preservatives.”

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