Earth Day 2019 - What to do as a Dog owner to decrease your carbon footprint
On Earth Day, I encourage you to think about the impact you and your pet have on the environment. Are you doing everything that you can for future generations? It is not easy as a customer and the FTC agrees with you. Federal Trade Commission has sent letters warning 20 manufacturers and marketers of dog waste bags that their “biodegradable,” “compostable,” and other environmental claims may be deceptive link to that announcement here. How do you know who to trust so that you can make the right decisions to ensure that they are looking out for the environment. As with any trendsetter, it costs more to be an educated and aware customer.
Plastic is a large issue for Climate Change, here are some stats that you need to sit with:
There are approximately 90 million dogs in the US
70% of pet owners live in suburban and urban areas according to this Pet Ownership report here
If you take your dog out 3X a day you are contributing over 13,000 feet of plastic material in one year alone.
This means that for all of the dogs of the US living in urban and suburban contribute approximately 819 billion feet of plastic (if each bag is nearly one foot in length)
My advice is to find ways that you can make small changes that will have a large impact:
I've converted to the degradable plastic poop bags for one year. I was extremely apprehensive because I think that there is a common notion that eco means the bag will not work as well. I've tested the Beco Poop Bags with the degradable plastic with Pixie who is a 55 pound lab. When she goes #2 she usually goes at least twice if not three times and she goes out three times in a day. I need a reliable poop bag
The reality, a lot of brands use eco-terms in the marketing and naming of their product however you need to do your research on the product to ensure that it is in fact good for the environment.
Take the small steps that you can control to ensure that you are reducing you and your pup's carbon footprint. Little actions make a big difference!! There are a lot of great companies creating eco and sustainable products. Ensure that you are educated and do not just use marketing slogans to determine whether the product is good for the environment. I encourage you to be an educated customer and ask questions!
Some of my favorite Eco-friendly pet brands:
West Paw has created their entire business surrounding sustainability and it is a passion for them to strive for a low carbon foot print as a dog toy manufacturer and producer. West Paw measures success not just by profit, but by how we treat our people and our planet, we open our minds to innovation, inspiration, and a true sense of purpose.
West Paw has a toy recycling program so that you can send a damaged toy back to become up-cycled and replaced by a new toy. This is in a stark contrast to most toy producers who know that the damaged toy will end up in a landfill. I love this about West Paw and believe that this shows their core and mission as a Bozeman, MT based company.
I’ve been using Molly Mutts dog duvets for 7 or 8 years! Their entire mission is that you have a lot of clothes, blankets and items around your house which you can’t donate and you don’t want to send it to the landfill. Use those items and fill up the dog bed duvet stuff sack so that your dog has items that have the scent of you. I bought a dog bed for Pixie and it fell apart in less than half a year, I took all of that stuffing and I added household items and I filled the dog bed duvet and Pixie loves it.
Pooch Paper was developed by a passionate human who believes our pups and our planet were made to be loved. Their paper dog waste sheets are manufactured with 100% recycled non-chlorine bleach paper fibers by using renewable energy. These paper alternative waste sheets and are 100% biodegradable and 100% compost-able. A corn-based grease resistant coating ensures that the waste remains inside our sheet and not on your hand. These are a great product if you have a smaller dog and live in the city. I’ve tested it with Pixie and I think she does a lot of business which makes this harder. It is a great concept for a product and I love that it has a better texture feeling than some of the compostable biodegradable bags which have fallen apart in my hands.
When your dog is needing something a little sweeter and needs to cool off, look no further than The Bear and the Rat frozen yogurt dog treats. All of the ice cream containers and compostable and they are in recycled paper packaging!! Pixie is obsessed with the Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt treats!
I really love Beco Pets as a company who I believe to be a market leader in sustainability. I use their poop bags which break down as opposed to plastic bags that will be in a landfill for hundreds of years. Beco Toys also have created pet toys which are converting plastic bottles into pet toys, these products are more premium however I believe that customers are willing to pay more for products that are better for the environment.
Think of small changes that you can make as a pet owner this Earth Day to reflect on your personal carbon footprint and what changes you can make to make a difference for the environment. Happy Earth Day!