Did you know that pets can impact sustainability and the environment? Here you can find some tips to help reduce the environmental footprint of your pet
A little over a year ago Gregory Okin, a geographer at UCLA, dedicated himself to researching the impact of meat croquettes and canned foods that we feed our pets with. The results, published in PLOS ONE, showed that, to form a sovereign nation in America, the Rovers and Fluffies would occupy the fifth place in the global consumption of meat.
According to The Washington Post, producing that amount of meat requires more land, water and energy, and pollutes more than plant-based foods, generating a large amount of greenhouse gases: up to 64 million tons per year or the equivalent of drive more than 12 million cars around for a year.
How to deal with this problem is the complicated part, but Okin warns that it is important to start dismantling the myths that exist around the feeding of pets. Although they need protein, dogs and cats should not consume the same amount as humans, so looking for canned products with lower percentages and vegetable origin is a good idea.
However, by playing such an important role in our lives, pets can impact sustainability and the environment in different ways. Here are some tips that, according to the newspaper UNION, US and Green Action Center, will allow you to become a pet owner friendly with the planet:
It may interest you: 7 things you should know before adopting a pet
1. Choose well what to buy. Once your pet arrives at the home, there are some changes you must make and items you must get to make him/her comfortable and to provide a safe environment. It is increasingly common for manufacturers to create products with our planet in mind, so when buying, look especially at high quality, durable, washable items made of sustainable materials, filled with organic ingredients or colored with vegetable dyes.
In addition, there are hundreds of creative options on the Internet about how to make your own toys using things you no longer need. Do some research on pages like Pinterest to get great DIY ideas for dogs and cats.
2. And the cleaning? Whenever your pet does his/her own needs, it is important to clean, as irrigation and rain leach the animal's parasites and bacteria on the ground and the waterways causing diseases and contamination. However, it is no longer necessary to use a plastic bag that takes 1000 years to decompose, as you can buy bags of recycled or biodegradable materials. Also, if you have a cat, you can choose a litter made of ingredients such as wheat, wood or corn and a litter box made of eco-friendly paper.
You can also read: Keep your pet healthy and happy: Myths and realities of the BARF diet
3. Take care of the birds. The figures of the American Bird Conservancy show that, in the United States and Canada, domestic cats represent the main threat to birds. In fact, it is estimated that cats are responsible for approximately 2.4 billion bird deaths each year. To help the birds, try to keep your feline as far as possible from the streets or give him/her a collar with a bell that warns about his/her presence.
4. Move with your pet. Try to find the most sustainable ways to travel with your pet around the city. Use public transport if possible or choose a bicycle with a basket that allows you to store your friend safely. If you usually drive to a park to play with your dog, try to do all the diligence you have pending on that route or walk to natural trails closer to your home.
5. And the cleaning? Try to make your own cleansers and deodorants when you clean up after your pet to reduce the chemicals at home. Use a rag instead of paper towels and, when bathing your pets, consider your water consumption and use natural or homemade bath products.
LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez
Translated from "5 tips para ser un dueño de mascota más amigable con el medio ambiente"