Monday, September 8, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

How to reduce your pet's carbon pawprint

Q: I try to live a "green" lifestyle, and I'm wondering if there are any pet-related ways I can reduce my carbon footprint.

A: There are several ways you can lighten your pets' impact on the environment.

* Look for toys made from materials that are biodegradable, recycled or sustainable. Read the label to see if there's a toll-free number you can use to call the manufacturer and make sure the item doesn't contain any toxic dyes or finishing agents.

*  Ask where toys are manufactured. Products made in the U.S. don't have to be shipped as far, so they have a smaller carbon footprint. Some foreign-made toys may contain high levels of unhealthy heavy metals.

*  See if your cat is willing to use litter made from plant-based materials, such as corncobs, wheat or recycled newspapers. These litters may be flushable or biodegradable. Another option is silica-gel "pearls," which can be used for longer periods before you need to change them.

*  Scoop poop and throw it away in a trash can so that waste runoff doesn't drain to the ocean or other water sources. Use biodegradable or compostable poop bags.

*  Avoid using herbicides and insecticides on your lawn. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to significantly higher risk of bladder cancer in dogs.

*  Use stainless steel food and water bowls, which are fully recyclable.

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