Earth Day 2022 is fast approaching and we all have our part to play in caring for this beautiful planet we live on. Although Earth Day brings into focus all the small things we can do individually and collectively, realistically, every day is earth day and thinking of long term changes has undoubtedly the biggest impact.
As pet owners, there are specific actions we can take to make a difference to the planet. Dog and horse owners particularly spend loads of time outdoors, which can present opportunities to join initiatives. All pet owners can look at their pet product consumption habits and consider how to opt for more sustainable pet care. We’ve put together a handful of ideas that can help you get started on your way to being a planet-friendly pet owner!
Ponder your pet food
We all know that much of the planet’s food isn’t produced sustainably, and this goes for pet food too. On this Earth Day, one great idea would be to look at where your pet’s food is coming from. There are loads of sustainable pet food brands on the market, and you can even enquire at your local butcher to find out if they have any pet products from locally produced meat, reducing the environmental harm. It’s not only the ingredients we need to be conscious of; how is the food packaged? Could you buy food and treats in bulk to reduce the number of single use plastic bags you’re using regularly? Look for alternatives to store-bought treats or get a yummy recipe and make your own.
Great Global Cleanup
This is one for the dog walkers (and possibly horse riders too). The Great Global Cleanup provides toolkits and resources to help you organise cleanups near you. It’s a fantastic way to combine a social gathering for dog owners or even a horse trek to areas of natural beauty that need cleaning up. Aside from helping the cleanup drive, pet owners who spend a lot of time outdoors can become citizen scientists by downloading the Global Earth Challenge app. This app gathers important information using mobile data technology, from air quality to insect populations to plastic pollution. Making some observations in your local area whilst out on a wander can help scientists in a big way to understand what’s happening globally in nature.
Does your pet have a basket full of chew toys? You’re not alone! It can be hard for pet owners and their friends and families to resist getting ‘just one more’ squeaky bone or fluffy oinking pig. But if you’d like to make some more earth-conscious choice going forward, stop and think before you buy. Go for a toy that’s not plastic and that’s more locally sourced and natural — there are loads to choose from. Or go one further and create your own: Battersea has some brilliant guides on how to do this.
Poop is in demand! Well, horse poop that is. If you’re a horse owner, you could be using your horse’s manure as a fertiliser for your garden. If you’re not green-fingered yourself, think about selling it or giving it away to someone who’ll use it as an eco-friendly alternative to chemical fertiliser. It’s great for the soil and causes no harm to the insects, bees and butterflies. As we know, most poop is not sought after! Being a responsible dog owner means picking up your pup’s poop. To do less harm to the environment, consider choosing biodegradable poop bags that are made from a plastic alternative. Cat owners aren’t spared from pondering the poop — there are loads of sustainable chemical free cat litter brands out there to help you lower your environmental impact — they even come in recyclable packaging.
Earth Day gives us a valuable opportunity each year to reassess our habits and the positive action we can take in favour of protecting our natural areas and resources. As pet owners, if we consider our pet care consumption, we’re not just doing a great service to our pets, but our communities and our planet.