But, as we continue to tackle climate change across the globe, many of us are becoming more environmentally conscious about our purchases – including those for our pets.
Whether your pet is on a dry, wet or raw food diet, there are ways to reduce food packaging waste. Most food packets will hang around in the environment for many years to come, long after pets have enjoyed their meal. If it isn’t recycled, packaging can end up in landfill, littering woodland or even floating in the ocean, all of which poses a real threat to wildlife. However, several pet food producers now use eco-friendly, compostable, recyclable or plastic-free packaging.
A simple step to reduce packaging waste is to recycle it, and just like products intended for human use or consumption, pet food packaging should be clearly labelled with recycling instructions. Another eco-friendly idea is to buy bigger. If you can, try to bulk-buy your pet food, which will not only reduce the amount of packaging used, but also the number of trips you make to the shops: less fuel = better for the environment!
We all like to reward (or spoil!) our pets with a few treats between meals, but these frequently come in plastic pouches. With so many recipes now online, there has never been a better time to try your hand at making homemade pet treats – and you don’t need to be a pro in the kitchen either. Your pet will love tasty nibbles made by you and they can be a lot of fun to create. Store them in reusable containers to keep them fresh (and out of reach!).
Although it’s not the most exciting part of owning a pet, we do need to clean up after our beloved furry friends. If you have a dog, no matter where they choose to go to the toilet, their poop has to be picked up. Dog waste can carry disease and pollute waterways, which in turn can be toxic to wildlife and the local ecosystem. There are plenty of eco-friendly, biodegradable dog poo bags available to buy, and these usually come in recyclable paper packaging too.
Cat litter commonly contains silica clay, which is often derived from environmentally destructive strip mining, and some also contains perfumes and other unnatural ingredients. However, there are biodegradable and natural cat litters available, such as Natusan, which will help make your kitty’s toilet routine a little more ‘green’.
At Mayhew, our Kennels and Cattery teams use biodegradable Envirobags to scoop up after our residents, and our Cattery team uses Breeder Celect biodegradable paper-based cat litter made from over 99% recycled paper. If you want to find out more about a product, you can normally check their eco credentials online, or get essential information from labels and packaging.
When we buy toys for our pets, we always want to give them the best of the best. Luckily, it is now easier than ever to find toys that are eco-friendly, fun and non-toxic. Try to source toys labelled ‘BPA free’ or ‘phthalate free’. BPAs and phthalates are chemicals that are used to make polycarbonate plastics which are soft and flexible. Some toys will be labelled ‘non-toxic,’ which means that the product is not harmful to human health or to the environment. Keep an eye out for toys made from hemp, wool, canvas or even natural rubber. These are natural materials and they are eco-friendly.
Did you know that you can make awesome pet toys from old, animal friendly materials found in your home? Have a look around at things you may be getting rid of, such as old clothes, empty egg cartons and kitchen roll tubes, as these can all be used to create pet toys. Recycle an old T-shirt and turn it into a snuffle rug for your dog, or make an activity toy for your cat! There are plenty of online tutorials for making pet toys at home.
Taking on board even one or two of these tips will help to reduce your pet’s carbon paw print and lessen your impact on the environment. Don’t forget to reuse and recycle wherever possible, and have fun making treats and toys for your pet!
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