If you’re making shifts towards a more sustainable lifestyle and want your eco pup to be apart of that, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to find out 4 simple ways that you can shrink your furry best friends Carbon Paw Print.
The Eco Pup Breakdown
- Use Compostable poo bags
- Try to buy local
- Switch to a meatless diet
- Reuse and repurpose into toys!
So, let’s jump right into it!
1. Use Compostable Poo Bags
This one seems obvious but can fall by the wayside. Most of us know it makes total sense. Your dog’s poo is naturally biodegradable so why would we impede that process by putting it in a single-use plastic bag?
Well sometimes it’s convenience, you may not have a biodegradable alternative on hand. We get that it’s going to happen every once in a while! As responsible pet parents, we do have to make sure we’re cleaning up after out pets wherever we go. None the less, whenever possible try to switch to something that’s much more eco-friendly!
Many products claim to be biodegradable but that doesn’t mean they qualify as compostable. Technically most things are biodegradable… it might just take hundreds of years for it to actually biodegrade.
So, when shopping around for eco-friendly poop bags make sure it’s compostable. This means look for if the product has the ASTH D6400 certification. That certification means the material actually biodegrades in a reasonable amount of time when compared to other known compostable materials.
Not all biodegradable poo bags are created equal though, Earth Rated is a great brand that has been tested and IS compostable!
2. Buy Local: This One Goes For More Than Just Pets…
Another step towards becoming the ultimate eco pup parent is something that has really been accentuated by the recent Covid-19 pandemic. That is, of course, to try to buy local whenever possible.
This can be a challenge sometimes! However, when you can buy and source locally that not only helps out your local economy but also the environment!
When you make the conscious choice to buy something made in your area that actually does make an impact. Firstly, the carbon footprint is often much smaller from locally grown or produced products. There’s less transport time so fewer greenhouse gases are being released into the atmosphere.
Fewer chemicals and toxins are needed or used (this mostly relates to fresh produce) because things don’t have to be kept “fresh” for longer. The stark reality is that 25% of the yearly anthropological carbon footprint is from food production and agriculture (read more about public perceptions of how to reduce carbon footprints here). So, keeping that in mind the more you can buy locally sourced the less of a carbon footprint you’ll have. I think we can all agree this just makes sense!
So how can this apply to your pup?
Well, while this step can apply to your whole household lets talk pet-specific!
Regardless of the diet, you’ve chosen for your furry family members you can always try to source locally. Whether you feed alternative protein, plant-based, or a raw diet! Whether you feed fresh or kibble! There are options to shop local!
For instance, if you feed a kibble try to buy one that’s made in your country! If you feed fresh, it’s the same as when you buy fresh for yourself. Look at where the food is coming from and try to feed foods that are in season. If you feed raw, you can often find a local butcher that will lend you a helping hand!
3. Going meatless – Especially Beef-less
This doesn’t mean cutting out protein from your dogs’ diet! However, let’s talk a little bit more about what plant-based means in terms of sustainability.
If you’ve consulted your vet or a professional pet nutritionist and feel like going fully plant-based is a viable option for your eco pup, it’s definitely possible to do that in a healthy way! Dogs are omnivorous after all! Just be mindful that this isn’t always an option for all dogs and you often have to supplement with synthetic vitamins, minerals to keep their diet balanced and meet all of a dog’s nutritional needs.
Something to Consider if You’re Thinking of Going Plant-based:
Something you may not know is all diet supplements aren’t created equally. Things like vitamins and minerals are derived from natural and synthetic sources. Many synthetic supplements are derived from things like petroleum and coal tar! Doesn’t really sound like a great leap forward in sustainability, does it? So it’s important to take into account where these supplements are coming from when making the decision switch your dog to a strictly plant-based diet if your goal is sustainability.
Not to mention as you may already know, plant-based doesn’t automatically mean a smaller carbon footprint. Many plants have to be sprayed with pesticides, you might have to source the plant from the opposite side of the world and then transport it. Air transport of fruit and vegetables can result in more carbon emissions than certain animal proteins, like chicken.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have meat. Most of us can agree that meat is not great for the environment. Beef, lamb, and pork are in a league of their own when it comes to environmental damage if we’re being honest (check out more on that here). Beef alone leaves a Bigfoot sized print on the planet when it comes to carbon.
At this point, you might be feeling like there’s no good option, that there’s no answer. Well, we’re here to tell you there IS an option AND it’s getting more popular by the minute!
Perhaps The Ultimate Solution to Sustainability for Your Eco Pup: Alternative Protein Sources!
These can be locally sourced too! Here at HOPE for instance all our ingredients are being sourced in Canada. This includes our main protein source which if you didn’t know, is insect protein!
Insects have an incredible nutritional profile that has the nutrients your eco pup needs readily available. Not to mention farming insects takes a fraction of the land, water and insects are fed on up-cycled clean food waste. That fresh produce that didn’t get sold in the grocery store makes the perfect meal for some little grubs! Read more about the benefits of eating insects in last weeks blog!
4. Reuse and Repurpose into a Toy!
Last but not least we can’t forget to reuse!
That single-use piece of crinkly plastic, turn it into a fun crinkly toy for your eco pup! You can stuff it into an old sock or piece of clothing. Simply make sure it’s tied securely inside and the small-cap is off (choking hazard!), and voila! You have a fun little toy that’s reusing something that would’ve just gone directly to a landfill otherwise!
Another option is to try to buy toys made from recycled or repurposed materials! Here’s a great source for some eco-friendly toys!