Reduce Your Pet's Carbon Paw Print

Squeaky toys and plastic poop bags can add up to a big environmental impact. Here’s how to protect the planet.

Reduce Your Pet's Carbon Paw Print
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Pare back on pesticides Eve Adamson, author of Pets Gone Green: Live a More Eco-Conscious Life with Your Pets (BowTie Press), suggests washing pets’ bedding every day during flea season (cedar-chip beds may also help repel fleas). Also, it’s smart to bathe pets often with a natural shampoo to prevent pest infestations.

Avoid “petsumerism” Pets want to spend time with you, not stuff, says Adamson. Purchase toys selectively.

Do recycle doo-doo Dog owners in some states are composting poop through experimental dog park programs. Look for options in your community—or lobby your town to start one. Do careful research before trying it on your own, as pet poop can spread E.coli.

Choose the adoption option The No. 1 pet-related drain on the Earth is unwanted animals, says Carol Frischmann, author of Pets and the Planet: A Practical Guide to Sustainable Pet Care (Wiley Publishing, Inc.). Adopt from a shelter instead of buying from a breeder, Frischmann says, and have Fluffy and Fido spayed or neutered.