Earth Day | How to be a More Eco-Conscious Pet Owner
Header image by PanamaPaws.
Earth Day is an annual event held on April 22nd to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22nd 1970, the event is recognised by over 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. The Earth Day official website will be hosting workshops, panel discussions, and special performances with focus on the theme, "Restore Our Earth." Here at Hiro + Wolf we constantly challenge ourselves to do better on our sustainability journey. As well as thinking about our carbon footprint (all our products are made here in the UK) we also ensure all of our packaging is 100% recycled and plastic free even for online orders. We wanted to think about different ways to be more mindful of our environment as pet owners. We also wanted to share some tips that we’ve gathered over time on how we can all change a few things that will help our environment whilst caring for our pets.
Buy eco-friendly pet food
Buying tins instead of pouches of food is a good way to reduce your plastic waste. Tins are a great plastic-free alternative - some brands even do half sized tins if you need smaller portions, or you could buy a reusable silicone tin cover to keep food fresh in the fridge. Most tins are made from aluminium, and metal is the world's most recycled material, with 75% of all aluminium used since 1888 still in use today! Avoid plastic bags of dry food as far as possible. Edgard & Cooper make great, natural pet food that comes in biodegradable bags made from plants! They are the first pet food brand with a full range of biodegradable bags. Just remember - biodegradable packaging goes into general waste, not recycling. You can find their treats online here, and we also carry their dog food in store. There are also a lot of cat food brands that come in cardboard boxes instead of plastic bags.
Buy in Bulk
To keep your pet’s environmental “pawprint” small, buy pet food in bulk quantities whenever possible. Some pet shops or zero waste shops offer refillable pet food that you can purchase by bringing along your own container to fill up, also avoiding unnecessary packaging. Some pet shops (especially the old-fashioned, independent ones) will have loose food that you can buy in your own bags - everything from dog biscuits to bird food, to rabbit pellets. If you can’t find refillable food, buying in bulk is still a great option, just try and find locally made food, preferably in recyclable packaging.
Image via WildWash
Use eco-friendly pet care
More and more eco-conscious pet care brands are emerging everyday! The best things to look out for are locally made products that use natural ingredients with recyclable and / or recycled packaging. We offer a range of shampoos from great UK based brand WILD WASH made from totally natural ingredients that are much kinder on the environment as well as your dog’s skin. When it comes to fleas, the most common flea and tick treatments use fairly harsh chemicals and often come in lots of plastic packaging, all of which is damaging to the environment. Instead, you could try a natural flea repellent that can be applied daily and smells great too! Simply mix together 5 drops each of tea tree oil, peppermint oil, citronella oil, rosemary oil and eucalyptus oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Just shake and then spritz your pooch daily. You can also buy 100% natural flea and tick repellents that are better for your pup and better for the planet. As always, be sure to consult your vet before trying any new treatments with your pets.
Try natural cat litter
Cat litter has a significant environmental impact, with the silica clay commonly used in supermarket brands derived from environmentally-destructive strip mining, in which mining companies bulldoze the surface until finding the desired mineral – a practice that can destroy local environments flora and fauna. These types of cat litter have also been linked to health problems in cats that are exposed to the dust. Alternatives are wood shavings, recycled newspaper, and even fibrous material from annually renewable wheat or maize.
Avoid plastic pet toys
Consider eco-friendly pet toys or DIY your own pet toys! When purchasing toys, look out for natural materials such as hemp. Cotton, rope, rubber, jute and even olive wood. Recycled materials are always best where possible. Try to avoid toys made from synthetic, non-recyclable materials such as plastic (especially in squeakers) and synthetic fabrics. Also try to avoid anything you think your pet will destroy too quickly as this creates more waste. If you’re feeling creative why not try making some simple toys from waste materials you probably have lying around? Try wrapping a bottle in an old T-shirt to create a great crinkly sound that puppy's love. Similarly, try putting some catnip in a sock and tie a knot, your moggie is sure to love it. As with all new toys, be sure to supervise your pet whilst they play and regularly check toys for damage. You can have a look at some of our favourite eco-friendly cat toys here.
We know when it comes to our pets, we all want to do what's best for them, but hopefully we've given you some good ideas on how you can also do what is best for the environment! Don't forget, all Hiro + Wolf pet accessories are handmade in the UK, so you can rest assured you're shopping sustainably when making a purchase from us.