As our population grows, so does our carbon footprint. As our pet population continues to be on the rise (think about all the people YOU know who got a “pandemic puppy”), so does their impact on our parks, walkways, and oceans. Here are some great ideas and products that can help the planet-conscious pet owners go green.
Create a Desire to Dig in the Right Spot
Spring is the time to turn over fresh soil, spruce up flower beds, and increase our use of drought tolerant plants to become water wise. However, if you don’t want your dog to do their own landscaping, manage them while you dig holes and plant. Either keep them indoors, or give them a frozen food stuffed toy to eat, instead of excavating elsewhere. When all is said and done, head to the beach where it’s safer to dig in the sand. You can even bring some toys to bury to make it more enticing. Be sure to fill up any holes when leaving to ensure everyone’s safety from tripping.
Avoid Harmful Pesticides
Weeds and bugs are definitely no fun in our gardens and grasses. Do your best to go organic this year and eliminate the use of pesticides that not only harm our dogs, but also pollute runoff into drains that lead to the ocean. A small change that you make in your own yard can lead to a big change of improving the health of our reefs and all marine life. Check out this natural weed killer recipe:
- 1 gallon white vinegar
- 1 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and treat weeds at the sunniest time of day for best results. Be part of the organic solution here: https://www.beyondpesticides.org.
Use Reusable Grocery Bags
Reusable bags are always the way to go when shopping for you and your pet too. They drastically cut down on the use of plastic bags that are often not recyclable. The smaller bags that you may still need can be used as waste bags for your dog, along with cereal bags or even packaging from increased online shopping.
Pick Up Waste
As you are cleaning up after your own pooch in the park, neighborhood, or beach, take a moment to pick up some litter as well. Since you will already have a bag in your hand, be an ambassador and lead by example. If you need to purchase waste bags, look for those marked compostable and biodegradable.
Make “Up-cycled” Toys
Your very own recycling bin is a treasure trove of ideas for mental enrichment for dogs. Large boxes can be used as tunnels or bridges for dogs to climb on or under, egg containers or plastic bottles can be filled with treats for your dog to eat. Or you can recreate 101Things to do with a box.
When you head Out N’ About with your dog, take inventory of not only the daily items you use with your dog, but also how you and your dog interact with the environment in which we all live. If we each do our part, small changes lead to big improvements.