No matter how much we love our pets, we can’t ignore the environmental stress they’re putting on the planet.
There are about 1 billion pet cats and dogs in the world, eating billions of pounds of canned meat annually. And think about all that poop! Dogs alone produce 10 million tons of waste per year, which is polluting our waters and piling up in landfills.
On the fourth episode of “Sustainable Self,” a HuffPost Originals series about how your everyday choices can significantly affect the earth, we discuss the simple changes you can (and should) make to lessen your pet’s impact on the planet.
For starters, have your four-legged friends eat their veggies. Meat-based diets are huge energy drainers, and research has shown that animals can get all the nutrients they need from all-balanced, vegetarian commercial foods (There is some disagreement as to whether it’s appropriate to feed cats a vegetarian diet, so cat owners should consult with their veterinarians to be sure they explore that option responsibly). Also, buying your pet food in bulk helps cut down on packaging waste.
As for the poop problem, use biodegradable bags to pick up after your pooches, and eco-friendly and biodegradable litter for your cats.