Two New Zealand researchers recently suggested that at over 2 acres, dogs carry a larger carbon footprint than a SUV. Cats are comparable to a small Volkswagen, a pair of hamsters compare to a plasma television, and goldfish have a carbon footprint that is comparable to two cell phones.
Cats and dogs are carnivorous, so they actually live higher on the food chains than humans, because humans are omnivorous. Meat requires much more land and energy to cultivate than anything else in our diets.
Now even your dog or cat can be green! How, you ask? I’ll tell you—and it doesn’t involve dye. Many products, from food to toys, are being made from sustainable materials that keep your pet’s carbon footprint to a minimum.
1. Catupon Pet Mat by Aster and Sage is a great use for recycled plastic soda bottles. This small, brushed mattress in two colors is perfect for cats and dogs alike. $16 per mat
2. Zanies Eco-Friendly Mice Cat Toys are an official “green” pet toy as a result of their low-impact dyes and reusability. $44 for a large package of mice
3. Simply Fido Organic Plush Hemp Dog Toy is made from low-impact hemp with chemical-free fillers and dyes, so if your dog gets hungry you can be sure that this little owl won’t hurt their tummies. $7.64 per toy
4. A Cheerful Pet Tugzees Dog Toys are made from 100% boiled wool and are handcrafted by Nepali artisans. They are natural, durable and washable, and are sold under fair trade guidelines. $19.99 per toy
5. Doggles Sillypulls Dog Toy is a kind of wacky tug-of-war toy made for larger dogs. It is constructed from ballistic, recycled nylon, so even if your dog doesn’t know that he is doing good by chewing on it, at least you will!
And of course, only buy your pet more toys if they need them or if you are already looking to buy some. Reduce what you buy, reuse what you have, recycle what you don’t need.