Earth Day, widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement back in 1970, is celebrated annually on April 22.
The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed that original celebration. Today, events large and small raise awareness of the fragile balance we hold our planet, and educate to bring changes to the dangerous course we’ve set.
Our dogs bring us closer to the natural world, and help us appreciate the environment we share with them. They too will benefit by our stewardship improving. We all need to pitch in to make a difference. Here are some simple ways to raise eco-friendly dogs and reduce our mark on the world.
Adopt Rather Than Buy
The ultimate in recycling, go green by adopting a dog from your local shelter or rescue group. There’s a wonderful animal (purebred or mixed) waiting for a good home at your local shelter.
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Spay/Neuter Your Dogs
It is the most effective way to reduce the pet overpopulation problem.
Choose Foods Wisely
Buy dog food that is made with organic and humane ingredients. Eliminating chemicals and additives in food is safer for your dogs and the environment. Better still, purchase locally produced food or make your own. Avoid plastic bowls, which can leach chemicals.
Make Waster More Eco-Friendly
Use biodegradable poop bags as opposed to plastic whenever possible. Consider installing an underground pet-waste digester in your yard.
Cut back on landfill by buying fewer canine accessories, and investing in well-made, long lasting beds, toys and leashes and avoiding the disposable variety.
Purchase products that are made from sustainable, organic and/or recycled materials. Seek out companies with proven commitments to recycling packaging materials and waste products on the production end.
Use eco-friendly cleaning ingredients like vinegar or baking soda. There are many natural commercial cleaning products available on the market—non-toxic and safe for animals. Shampoos as well.
Plant a tree to celebrate your dog! Plant an organic herb garden, including parsley, thyme and rosemary to “spice” up your dog’s meals. These herbs can make a perfect kitchen-grown garden too.
For a more comprehensive guide to living green with pets … see more simple strategies for reducing your dogs’ paw print.