How to Be an Eco-Friendly Pet Parent

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Earth Day is observed each year on April 22nd to promote environmental consciousness and encourage the conservation of our planet. Currently, Earth Day is observed in more than 190 countries annually. However, whether it is Earth Day or any other day of the year, making simple changes to your everyday routine can contribute to a greener planet and brighter future.

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The Origin of Earth Day

Earth Day was originally founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson and was first observed in 1970. Nelson advocated for ecology and appreciation for life on earth, and brought awareness about the increasing environmental problems affecting the planet. The initial Earth Day observations were celebrated across the United States in thousands of schools and universities, and in hundreds of communities.

Earth Day became a global movement in 1990 after environmental advocate, Denis Hayes, mobilized an extraordinary campaign. Two-hundred million people and 141 countries participated in an international Earth Day. 

What is Earth Day

Observers of Earth Day frequently participate in environmentally friendly acts such as planting trees or cleaning up their surrounding areas of litter. Some may make an effort to set up recycling programs, or promote petitions urging the government to take a stricter stand on environmental issues such as global warming.

An individual can participate in Earth Day by being more environmentally aware of their habits, their surrounding environment and the global environment. There are also more specific and distinctive ways pet parents can contribute to an eco-friendlier world.

Eco-Friendly Tips for Pet Parents
  • Purchase large and recyclable containers. Whether used temporarily for food or treats or long-term for storage, larger containers mean less material used, and the more material you can recycle, the better.
  • Reuse any plastic containers or bags you may already have. If you have plastic bags in your home (grocery bags, bags used to package bagels or tortillas, etc.), consider using those as poop bags before buying specifically made plastic poop bags. If you do buy poop bags, eco-friendly bags make a good option and be mindful of biodegradable bags. If a biodegradable bag is not disposed of properly, the purpose may be defeated. Be sure to read the product description and disposal directions. You may consider burying the bag if you live in a rural area, or using a dog-friendly composting bin.
  • When shopping for your furbaby, make sure to use reusable shopping bags. You can leave these in your car, or near your door so you do not forget to use them when headed to the grocery store or your local pet shop.
  • Purchase products in bulk. Buying in bulk will ultimately be less expensive, and you will contribute less to product packaging material.
  • Use a reusable water bottle rather than a plastic bottle. Plastic bottles are known to cause harm and a reusable water bottle contributes less waste. Reusable water bottles are more cost-efficient, and you can still easily share your water with your pup. If you and your pup are frequently on the go, consider purchasing a reusable collapsible dog bowl that you can attach to your water bottle and can be used for both food and water.
  • If you have plants or flowers in your home or a garden in your yard, rather than pouring your pup’s dirty water bowl into the sink or aimlessly outside, consider using that water for your plants, your garden, or a dry spot in your yard.
  • Spay and neuter your furry family members. This will not only decrease your, and in extension your furbaby’s carbon footprint, but could also potentially save lives. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports that approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). Approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted, and about 710,000 animals who enter shelters are strays and are returned to their owners.
Three pugs in patio garden

Earth Day emphasizes environmental awareness and encourages eco-friendly activities. Pet parents can make slight changes in their daily activities that can lead to a healthier lifestyle and simultaneously make a difference to the environment.

Sniff out more eco-friendly tips here.

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