By Callum Barraclough
While many of the currently available eco-advice articles have focused on what you yourself can do, from using eco-friendlier travel, to recycling clothes, if you have a pet, you may still be wondering what you can do that is eco-friendlier for your pet. There still are many things you can do for your pet that are eco-friendly, from changing what they eat, to changing what toys you buy for them, there is a wide variety of options available to you.
1. Paper trays/tins for food (Lily’s Kitchen)
While aluminium pouches for food may be preferrable, to avoid having to touch food that might cause a mess and ruin the food for your pet while making it, pet food wrapped in paper may be better for the environment, as very few of the aluminium pouches are actually recycled, with fewer than one in 20,000 actually being recycled, so having more easily degradable material for the food is better for the environment, even if it ends up in the ocean anyway, as it will degrade faster than aluminium. One example given by Friends of the Earth as to a seller of recyclable tins and trays for their food in the UK is Lily’s Kitchen, with another being Bug Bakes, so it may worth exploring what retailers sell recyclable food near you.
2. Natural dog bedding
If you have a dog, it may be worth looking into using natural dog bedding as your dog’s bed, as it can help with reducing the environmental impact that some dog beds will have. This is because natural bedding can last longer, as well as be made from material that are not toxic to the environment, unlike other dog beds. Some sold have reversable covers, which can make it easier for you by allowing you to make the bed cleaner in a matter of seconds my reversing the material of the bed to make the cleaner side the one the dog uses. An example of a seller of natural dog beds in the UK is The Natural Pet Store, although, as above, it may worth looking to see who sells these beds locally, as they may provide better items than the seller above.
3. Buy eco-friendly pet toys
Many popular pet toys made now are made from plastic, including pet puzzles and some chew toys for dogs, so it may worth exploring what eco-friendly options are available if you are interested in buying eco-friendly items for your pet. Eco-friendly pet toys include hemp dog bones, scratching posts wrapped in sisal and canvas squeaker toys, to name a few given by Friends of the Earth as examples. You can also make your own toys using eco-friendly materials or recycle leftover materials to make toys for your pet, like using bunched up string to make pull toys for a dog to play with, or a makeshift scratching post for a cat to use. There are many examples of toys you can make on websites like YouTube, as well as just being available through a Google search, so you have many possible ideas available to you if you want a place to start.