As modern-day pet owners, we all want to make thoughtful choices when it comes to our buying habits. But while we all know how to shop sustainably for ourselves, many of us struggle to know what sustainable choices we can make for our pets.
As with most consumer decisions, the most important thing we can keep in mind is the three R’s - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. But did you know that the order of those three little words is just as important?
How To Reduce Pet Waste
The single biggest sustainable choice we can make for our pets is to reduce what we buy for them. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t spoil your furry family member, but by simply considering how you can reduce the excess waste that your purchasing decisions generate, you can have a smaller impact on your corner of the planet.
Here are a few great ways to reduce your impact.
The average dog owner replaces their dog’s bed annually, and with 12 million dogs in the UK, that’s an awful lot of waste - 60,000 tonnes, in fact. The trouble is, plush synthetic dog beds simply aren’t designed to last. Whether through daily wear and tear, or breaking down in the washing machine, these beds will need to be regularly replaced over the lifetime of your pet.
Taylor & Tails dog sofa beds and mattresses are crafted from vegan leather and premium upholstery fabric with a nano-particle finish. The easy-clean technology allows you to wipe the bed clean, prolonging its life, while the robust fabrics are scratch, dirt and water-resistant. By buying the correct size bed for your pup, a single Taylor & Tails bed may well last the lifetime of your pet.
Many pet food suppliers are still only offering their products in plastic packaging, creating an unavoidable contribution to landfill. Encourage your pet food company to make the switch to biodegradable (preferably) or recyclable packaging by letting them know directly that it’s an important part of your purchasing decision. Then, vote with your feet and give your money to a company that are already making more sustainable choices.
Along with buying pet food in biodegradable or recyclable packaging, you can also reduce waste by buying in bulk. One 20kg bag will often have less packaging than 10 x 2kg bags. And don’t forget to consider whether the ingredients align with your own sustainable choices too.
One of the most obvious things that our pets contribute to landfill are chew toys that never seem to last more than a month or two. Not only are many chew toys not suitable for recycling, but often they’re so poorly made that they break down and can pose a health risk to your pet.
When buying a chew toy, how easy it is to dispose of is usually not part of the buying process, but it’s well worth considering if you want to make more sustainable choices. Buying well made, robust toys will reduce the number of toys your dog has over the course of its lifetime, and choosing the right material means the toy may eventually be compostable or recyclable.
While we’re not going to recommend reusing your poo bags, you can certainly reduce how many wind up in the landfill by choosing brands that can be home composted. Even supermarkets now stock biodegradable poo bags, so it really couldn’t be easier to make the switch.
With small changes, being a sustainable pet owner needn’t be difficult. Which change could you make today?
Want to learn more about sustainable pet ownership? Read The Hidden Cost Of Owning A Pet.