Pet Lovers, Planet Lovers: Sustainable Products for Furry Friends
At eveelife.com, we love pets! Dogs, cats, chinchillas, the more, the merrier (although we draw the line at rats). We know that being a pet lover often means you want the absolute best for your furry companions. You scour the market for the best treats, toys, and accessories, and you don’t skimp. Consider that in 2022, according to the American Pet Products Association, U.S. consumers spent $136.8 billion on their beloved pets. That’s a lot of dog chow!
If pet owners, with all the money and time that they put into caring for their furry friends, direct just some of those resources toward supporting a sustainable and environmentally friendly pet industry, they can make a real impact. What if I told you that it was pretty easy to pamper your pets while also being kind to Mother Earth? The sustainable pet product market is growing, offering tons of eco-friendly alternatives that are just as delightful for your pets as they are for the environment. Let’s dive in!
The Growing Need for Sustainable Pet Products
With millions of pets across the globe, the demand for pet products is understandably massive. In the U.S. alone, the estimated number of households that own a dog is 65.1 million, with cat owners following close behind at 46.5 million. The next most popular pet on the list is freshwater fish. When it comes to spending on pets, the highest expense is food. Americans spend about $58 billion on pet food and treats every year. All that consumerism makes an impact, and, like many sectors, the pet industry can take a toll on the environment, from plastic packaging to non-degradable toys. This presents an opportunity and a responsibility for pet owners like you to make sustainable choices.
Eco-Friendly Choices for Your Pet: Beyond the Traditional
Food that’s Good for Your Pet and the Planet
Rethinking Packaging: Packaging is a big issue when it comes to sustainability. The sad truth is that every year, about 300 million pounds of plastic bags are produced for pet food, and only a small fraction ends up being recycled. It’s a big problem, but pet food producers struggle to find ways to package their products without plastic while still maintaining their freshness and meeting food-grade standards. Bulk food stores where you can use refillable containers to buy dog food can help cut down significantly on all that unnecessary and harmful waste. Check out Litterless for a directory of zero-waste grocery stores near you.
The Buzz About Insect-based Foods: While it might sound odd, insect-based pet food and treats like those from Yora can offer your pet a sustainable protein source that’s good for them, too. Insects require less land and water, and emit fewer greenhouse gases compared to traditional meats. These insects are also high in healthy fats, antioxidants, and amino acids, making them a superfood for your dogs (Yora’s cat food is coming soon). Plus, the insects that Yora harvests are easily digestible and hypoallergenic, which makes them ideal for dogs who have allergies or sensitive digestive systems. Another company that focuses on pet food made from crickets is Jiminy’s. And before you turn your nose up at feeding your pet bugs, remember that dogs and cats eat bugs all the time, supplementing their diets by eating the ones they find crawling around. With how harmful meat is to the environment, it’s just a matter of time before we all start eating cricket burgers ourselves.
Organic Food and Treats: Companies like Open Farm produce organic food and treats for dogs and cats that are free from harmful pesticides and support eco-friendly farming practices. According to Open Farm, they work diligently to ensure that their farms, plants, and facilities meet the highest standards for ethical sourcing. In line with that goal, they work to trace all of the ingredients they use back to its source to ensure that the ingredients are 100% humanely raised with no artificial flavors or fillers. They also have embarked on a ten-year plan to reduce their carbon footprint. Thankfully, there are a lot of pet food companies embracing an organic and sustainable route. These include Castor & Pollux, The Honest Kitchen, Primal, and more.
Keeping Fido Happy with Eco-friendly Toys and Accessories
Hemp and Cotton Toys: Toys made from natural fibers like hemp and cotton are not only safer for your pets but are also biodegradable. You can spend a full day looking at all the beautiful products made from hemp, including pet toys for cats, dogs, and birds, at Hemptique.
Recycled Materials: Brands like Beco Pets produce toys made from recycled plastic bottles. Your pet gets a new toy, and you keep plastic out of the ocean! Beco is also a Certified B Corporation (they’re on a mission to do good while also making a profit), they are Certified Climate Neutral (a badge of carbon accountability), and they are members of 1% for the Planet (they support organizations working to save the planet). All good things! You can find their toys, food, and pet accessories online or at retailers like Petco.
Sustainable Collars and Leashes: Look out for collars and leashes made from sustainable materials like bamboo or recycled materials. They are just as durable and often more breathable. The Good Dog Company is just one option where you can find all kinds of harnesses, leashes, and collars handmade from materials like hemp.
Sustainable Bedding and Grooming Products
Eco-friendly Bedding: Brands like West Paw offer pet beds filled with IntelliLoft, made from recycled plastic bottles. West Paw is another great Certified B Corporation that focuses on using eco-friendly materials and processes in their pet products.
Natural Grooming Products: Using grooming products free from harmful chemicals isn’t just better for the environment; it’s also kinder to your pet’s skin. Companies like Earthbath offer natural shampoos and conditioners.
The Poo Problem – An Unavoidable Topic
Let’s be honest; waste management – we’re talking poop here – is essential when it comes to pets. Opting for biodegradable or compostable poop bags, like those from Greener Walker that are made from a bio corn starch blend, can make a significant difference in reducing plastic waste. Additionally, sustainable cat litter, like the kind from Sustainably Yours, is made from materials like wood, paper, or even tofu, breaks down more naturally, and is often less dusty.
Create a Ripple Effect with an Impact
Choosing sustainable pet products doesn’t just reduce environmental impact. It also:
Supports Eco-friendly Brands: When you purchase sustainable pet products, you’re also voting with your wallet and supporting companies that prioritize the planet.
Promotes Healthier Choices: Natural, organic, and eco-friendly often means fewer chemicals and higher quality, making products safer for your pet.
Sets a Precedent: Your choices can inspire others to make similar eco-friendly decisions. Friends and family will see how you’re able to care for your pets while still caring for the environment, hopefully encouraging them to do the same.
Embrace the Eco Change
There’s just no excuse. So many amazing companies are out there offering sustainable and eco-friendly options for people like you who are crazy about their pets and the planet! Making the move to sustainable pet products shouldn’t be a challenge. Start with the small stuff like biodegradable poop bags or toys made from natural materials, and then make the move to more environmentally friendly food and treats. When it’s time to replace your dog’s bed, start checking out eco-conscious companies. Over time, these small steps add up, and before you know it, your pet’s carbon pawprint will be significantly reduced.
As pet lovers, our pets’ happiness is a priority, but we can also play a role in ensuring the planet they live on (and we live on!) remains vibrant and healthy. Every sustainable choice, no matter how small, is a step towards a greener future for our furry friends and for us.
If you’re excited to learn how you can pursue a greener, carbon-free lifestyle, you can find out more by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on Instagram and Facebook. We stay on top of all the latest news, tech, and trends in the world of sustainability. We cover green energy solutions, and EV living, including EV mileage, EV rebates, EV chargers, and more; plus, we research and share tons of sustainable products we love for all aspects of your life. “Join the charge!” at eveelife.com.
By evee Life Contributor
Published October 12, 2023 6:04PM
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Eveelife is an eco-oriented lifestyle platform that helps consumers make more purposeful choices about how they live and what they consume. We do it by curating content and products that help them make more conscious, carbon-free choices while amplifying their EV ownership experience.