2. Purchase long lasting, quality made items for your pet from local manufactures and craftspeople. Most consumables these days are made following the planned obsolesence business practice. This makes for wealthy manufacturers, but creates a very large landfill problem for our beautiful planet. Items which are made locally don’t need to travel far, reducing green house gas emissions, our reliance on fossil fuels, as well as supporting our local community. Choose natural materials harvested sustainably such as a hemp or bamboo dog bed filled with cedar chips, or a leather collar with a brass buckle which will last a lifetime.
3. Feed your dog people food. Healthy people food, that is, like organic meats, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, eggs and dairy. A diet rich in whole foods as opposed to processed foods will not only mean a healthier dog with a fantastic set of chops, it also means you are feeding your dog a more nutritionally dense diet. This translates to an efficient use of food, which means less waste for you and the planet. Commercially processed pet food requires you to feed more of it, and thus more calories than your dog needs in order to ensure he gets the amount of nutrients required. (By the way, the nutrient levels stated on the nutritional panel of a bag of kibble, are what is required to keep your dog alive, not thriving.) It also relies on heavy usage of fossil fuels and water in manufacture and transportation, chemical preservatives, and industrial farming practices. Purchasing whole foods from a local market, or specialty diets made by a reputable local company will ensure your dog treads lightly on our planet, and lives a long and healthy life.
4. Use biodegradable compostable poo bags. Choose carefully when selecting a biodegradable bag, as they are not all created equal. Some bags which are marketed as biodegradable are petroleum based plastics, which break down to microscopic fragments, but still remain plastic in nature. Much of this plastic ends up in landfills, tainting water supplies, becomes carcinogenic pollution in incinerators, or finds it’s way to the Great Pacific Gyre Garbage Patch where it enters the food chain as it is ingested by sea creatures. Oh yes, there’s a garbage patch in the Atlantic Ocean too. BioBag makes dog poop bags which are made from certified 100% GMO free corn grown on marginal agricultural land not suitable to grow food crops, uses soy based inks low in heavy metals, and no chemical additives to speed decomposition. They are 100% bio-degradable and 100% compostable with your kitchen scraps. Remember to compost and not trash the bag, as it needs oxygen to break down, which does not happen in a landfill. If you don’t own your own composter, make sure your city accepts plastic in their compost program.
5. Protect your dog from fleas naturally. Chemical flea treatments can be deadly, and not just for the fleas. Exposure can produce a number of ill effects in your dog, yourself, and your children. Natural solutions are easy on everyone including the planet. For prevention, essential oils such as Cedarwood, Neem, Lemongrass, and Peppermint all have insect repellant properties and can be made into shampoos and conditioners, or sprayed onto the dogs coat, his bed, collar or bandana. If Fido already has a flea problem, Diatomaceous earth or Borax can be sprinkled on the carpet and vacuumed up to rid the house of flea eggs and larvae, and Nematodes can be spread in the garden to treat your yard. A natural or organic dog groomer can free your dog of fleas without resorting to chemicals, and he’ll smell fantastic as an added benefit.