10 Ways You and Your Pet Can Help Save the Planet This Earth Day 

Every little bit helps.

Whether it’s cleaning up trash on daily walks with your dog or using biodegradable poop bags, every effort you make to save the planet this Earth Day is going to have an impact, no amount is too small.

But if all of us work together on April 22, and beyond, to reduce waste, reuse and recycle, imagine the impact that will have.

We rounded up ways both you and your pet can help preserve the world we live in, one day at a time.

Recycle dog and cat food cans. It goes without saying that the can your pet food comes in can be recycled — so why, according to The Aluminum Association, are Americans still throwing away nearly $1 billion worth of aluminum cans every year? An easy way to reduce waste in our landfills is to recycle those cans every single time.

Bring reusable bags to the pet store. If you’re a pro a bringing your own bags to the grocery store, bringing your own to the pet store should be a snap. Just think of all the plastic bags you’ll save!

Use a plastic bag alternative. Speaking of plastic bags, it’s time to ditch them when collecting dog poop. It’s easier than ever before with so many new products on the market, like portable poop scoopers, biodegradable bags made from recycled materials, and water soluble bags that can be flushed down the toilet. Choose one that works for you and your household and start a habit that will make Mother Nature happy.

Put an end to play with plastic bottles. We know, some dogs love chewing on ‘em. But it’s no longer chic for people to carry them, and that trend should carry over to pets. If you need more motivation to stop buying them, watch this video of a Pacific island that’s littered with tons of washed up plastic.

Donate items you don’t need to animals in need. Old pet bowls, used beds or blankets — they’re all things animal shelters need on a daily basis. So, give your gently used items to animals at shelters where they’ll find another furry friend to love them. Small things aren’t all that’s needed by animals, you can also donate vehicles to certain shelters, which can be considered a tax deductible charitable donation. Click here to learn more.

Buy pet food that’s environmentally conscious. Select pet food that uses recycled materials in their packaging or less packaging overall. Free recycling programs are also available for some of those flexible plastic pet food bags sold in stores (Wellness brand has one, click here to learn more).

Use a more eco-friendly cat litter. Your kitty can do his part by using a litter that’s made from recycled paper, cedar, grass or wheat-based products, there are a slew of them on the market. Try them out and determine which one is favored most by your feline.

Spay and neuter your pets. If you’re unsure how lowering the pet population will help the planet, think about this: approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year, according to the ASPCA. Bottomline is, less unwanted animals in shelters means less mouths to feed (from aluminum cans or plastic bags) and less waste to clean up.

Clean up trash on daily walks. If you spot trash along your route or at the dog park, pick it up and put it in the trash bin. It cleans up the planet and helps prevent other furry friends from ingesting them.

Adopt an animal impacted by climate change or water pollution. This planet is infinitely more fantastic when majestic animals like polar bears and humpback whales remain in it. By symbolically “adopting” an endangered animal, you’re helping to protect that beauty for generations to come. To learn how, visit the World Wildlife Fund’s website.


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Amy Jamieson

A former senior editor for People.com, Amy launched People Pets for People magazine in 2008. Now she writes about pets, lifestyle and more from her bucolic saltbox in Collinsville, Connecticut, usually with a cat in her lap and a dog at her feet.

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