If you’re anything like me, you agree it’s important to take care of our big beautiful planet and protect it any way we can. I feel that it’s important to leave more for the next generation than just the problems that we’ve created and that this planet isn’t just my home but home to other humans and species that rely on clean air, clean water, and the same resources that I do. I have no right to hog it all. Check out these tips for selecting eco-friendly pet companies next time you purchase something for your pet.
“Going green” or being eco-friendly doesn’t mean you need to be an activist or ban every single-use item from your house. It just means making conscious choices for you, your family, and your pets that tend to help, rather than harm, the environment.
For my business, it means cleaning up after myself wherever I go and sourcing products from suppliers that reduce waste, use less toxic inks, and include renewable power in their operations.
If you’re like me, you probably buy a lot of stuff for your pet: food, toys, beds, electronics such as GPS collars, and even doggy nanny cams. Do you know if the companies you are buying from include being environmentally conscious in their mission?
I try to keep my pet product purchases as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. If you’re curious about where or how to find green pet products, here are my tips to get started.
Look for transparency
Transparency is a pawsitive, and eco-friendly brands are proud to talk about their sourcing. Brands that are open about their sourcing, environmental pawprint, and business practices get a Green Flag from me. More than anything on this list, transparency is important to me when assessing something for sustainability. If a company is willing to tell you where they get their ingredients from or even where their weak spots are, that makes me feel a lot better about them. Check out the websites of brands you buy to see if they mention the environment in their mission or when they discuss the ingredients of packaging.
Check for accreditation.
A company doesn’t need accreditation to be eco-friendly, but it sure helps to know if an outside organization has vetted them. You can check out the Pet Sustainability Coalition to download a list of accredited brands that are committed to transparency and environmental and social sustainability.
Look for their symbols or a mention of accreditation on the company’s product or website when you’re shopping for pet products.
Read the labels and/or product descriptions in full.
Check the ingredient lists and packaging in full. Some companies have a QR code on them to help you see their sourcing in more detail. Did you know that the fun, colorful cheap pet toys you can get everywhere have been found to have heavy metals and toxic chemicals in them? Buddy loved squeaky toys, but I couldn’t bear giving these to him, so I tried to find other options that were just as fun but less toxic.
Non-GMO, preservative-free, natural, and organic
Beware of buzzwords. Pet food – and the words used to describe it – is a tricky subject. Nature-themed packaging and words like “natural” and “clean” can easily sway a conscientious buyer, but do they really mean better food? For this reason, learn how to read the labels and what all of the catchy-sounding words mean. This article is a good place to start.
Avoid one-time-use products where you can
One-time use or disposable products can be more wasteful than we’d like. I always carried wads of used grocery bags around in my purse and my car instead of buying poop bags. It just didn’t make sense to use a brand-new plastic bag to put poop in. Now you can even get reusable cloth pee pads and diapers for your pets to help reduce the waste your pet creates. But, beware, reusable doesn’t always mean more eco-friendly; reusable puppy pads, for instance, are often made of cotton, which takes a ton of water and chemicals to grow and requires washing with hot water and detergent, further adding to their environmental footprint. Remember that even reusable doesn’t always mean highly sustainable.
If you do have to get a one-time-use product, try for a recycled or biodegradable option!
Protecting the planet for other inhabitants and future generations is everyone’s job, and we can make a big difference by voting with the dollars we spend on our pets.
Are you aware of a great green pet company we should know about? Let me know in the comments.