J500 Media and the Environment

Your pet can be a tree hugger too! by Sarah

When we think about reducing our family’s carbon footprints, we often are neglecting to remember the impacts of our extended family…our pets. You know, the cute little ones we can’t live without?

With almost 62 million dogs in the in US, they are unquestionably making an impact on our environment too. They poop outside, they eat unnatural food, and they chew up plastic toys that have to be replaced. Now companies are giving pet owners the opportunity to green their pets too! Organic dog toys, biodegradable poop bags, and microchip trackers are the future of the ‘green pet.’

The most important thing to do is to adopt a homeless pet. Over 50,000 cats and dogs are born every day in the US, most without homes. Adopting a furry, loving, homeless pet is a great feeling – and a huge step forward to getting rid of this problem. And remember as Bob Barker says, “Spay and neuter your pets!”

A little dog, with a big opinion.

Photo: Dasqutt, Flickr

In order to green your pet, buy sustainable goods for them. Web sites like EarthDog and GreatGreenPet offer everything from organic toys to hemp collars and leashes. While browsing through Petsmart the other day, I even came upon a whole section of organic dog clothes and toys that were reasonably priced, and also some natural doggy shampoos. Not only are organic and all natural dog foods better for you pet, they are also obviously more eco-friendly. There is a growing number of these types of foods available in pet stores and online.

An eco-friendly pet store.

Photo: ddp4566, Flickr

The main eco-concern about our animals is their poop, as fun as that is to talk about. People need to make sure to clean up after their dogs and if possible, use biodegradable bags to do so. Something little that can make a huge difference.

Without pets, life wouldn’t be the same for me. At least now we can start helping our animals live a little greener, and healthier, while making the change for ourselves as well.

-Sarah Nelson


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I want to see a picture of your dog!

Comment by kimwallace

Sarah – I would consider myself somewhat of an expert on dog poop. We just had to put our dog to sleep last week at the ripe age of 15 due to poo poo and pee pee concerns (she was going about 3-4 times on our kitchen floor a day and suffering badly from a stomach ailment). I can’t imagine that constantly inhaling the stench of dog crap for the past few months has been good for my health. We also used a tremendous amount of toilet paper, paper towels, nonbiodegradeable cleaning products and doggie bags with terrible eco-unfriendly ingredients etc. to clean up the messes each day. It honestly would have been good to know that more eco-friendly options existed. Did you run across any biodegradeable doggie diapers at Petsmart? Those would have come in super handy.

Thanks for posting the adoption information. I really want to get a new dog to replace the void left by the immortal Lady “the dog” Meserko.


Comment by vincemeserko

haha I’ll be happy to show you some pictures next time we meet…I have at least 200 or so on my computer (okay a little exaggeration).

-Sarah Nelson

Comment by snelson33

Bio-degradable poop bags are very interesting to me. Right now, my dogs are the only reason that I still collect plastic bags from the grocery store.

Even with the biodegradable bags, what should be done with the poo? Should it be thrown away? Composted? If composted, what do you do with it then?


Comment by Adam Bowman

I have this set of places where I feel guilty if I’m not doing the eco-thing, and pets definitely fall into a eh-what-can-ya-do category. The more insight like this that I read the more I’m finding that if I can bring that category to consciousness, those are of the more engaging stories to take time to read. So, excellent post topic and execution.

Sonya English

Comment by Sonya

We use plastic bags from the grocery store for our trash to avoid buying garbage bags, but buy plastic bags for our dog doo-doo. Something is definitely wrong with that.

In any case, the best thing to do is empty the bag into your toilet, but even those who love our pets like our own flesh-and-blood may not want to go that far. (When I was working in environmental education, I created a water quality obstacle course that ended with picking up fake poop and plopping it in a toilet).

You can also compost at least some of it in devices like the Green Cone or products designed to digest or compost pet waste. You can even build your own!

– Jeff

Comment by jseverin

When in doubt, check websites like TreeHugger. There are eco-alts for almost everything we use- from poop bags to tampons to jeans.

Comment by j500

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