Updated: May 2
I'm a strong believer that as humans we all have an obligation to do our bit to keep the natural balance of our planet. We have taken so much as we have evolved and it is important to give back where we can and do our bit to try and counteract the damage we inflict. It may seem like an impossible task, and for just one person it is, but collectively, by making a few small tweaks to our lifestyle, we can make a real difference. I have put together a few tips on how you can be a more eco friendly dog owner and just by making these small changes, we would be taking a step in the right direction.
Clean up to Green Up
I shouldn't have to tell you to pick up after your dog when they go to the toilet because as a responsible dog owner you should do that anyway. If you don't, shame on you! However have you ever stopped to consider how much plastic is used on all those poops, it is easy to forget as you just pick up and bin it how many single use plastics you are going through. Try switching to an eco-friendly poo bag such as Give a sh!t Eco bags which are 100% compostable and all materials used, including the packaging is either recycled, biodegradable or compostable. To top it all off and make you feel extra good about yourself, they donate 10% of their profits to charity!
Top Tip: to reduce the amount of bags you go through cleaning up the garden, why not use one bag for multiple poops. I use an old trowel to scoop which make it easier.
Walk more, Drive Less
Now I know it can be tempting to jump in the car every weekend and head out for an adventure somewhere new but if seemingly endless lockdowns have taught us anything it is that you can find some stunning locations a little closer to home. During the first Covid-19 lockdown my social feeds were full of people surprised by the wonderful new locations they found right on their doorstep. Try opening Google maps and looking what green spaces you have in your local area, or have a look on apps such as Dog Walks App, All Trails or Go Jauntly to discover new walks. By reducing the amount of driving you have to do for your dog walks you will help to reduce the carbon footprint, it might not seem much but every little helps.
Top Tip: If you are planning a walk with a friend, why not go together in one car, that way you save money on petrol and parking!
Shop Smart and recycle where you can
It is always tempting to spoil our dogs with new toys, treats and accessories but a lot of these add more plastics and waste to landfills when you have finished with them. Try shopping with companies that have eco-friendly values, maybe they use recycled or sustainable materials, or come in recycled or biodegradable packaging. These may cost a little more than mass produced products but they are a lot better for our planet. Look for products that don't use plastics but opt for natural rubber, recycled cotton or hemp rope.
If your dog has a large collection of accessories or toys that they do not use anymore or have grown out of, rather than just throwing them out, consider giving them to charity, or to other dog owners, or even sell them on. Providing they are still in good condition, other people may be thankful or your unwanted toys and accessories for their dog and rescue centres are always grateful of donations for the rescue dogs.
Top Tip: You can even make your own dog toys using your old clothing or towels, there are plenty of tutorials online to follow.
Green power your home
Do you leave the radio or TV on for your dog when you go out? Or do you monitor your dog using cameras? All of these things are going to use energy, and while you may not be able to stop or cut down this usage, you can change where you get your energy from. Switch to companies that use sustainable and renewable energy sources such as solar power, tidal power, hydroelectricity or wind power instead of using fossil fuels.
Top Tip: Some comparison sites will now let you compare green energy prices so you can get the best deal.
Woofs against waste
As dog owners we all spend a lot of time outdoors enjoying nature, and I know for me one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing rubbish and waste dumped in our countryside (don't even get me started on people who bags their dogs poop and just leave the bag on the floor or in a tree!). Why not take a bag with you and collect some rubbish from your local area while you walk your dog. Yes I know in an ideal world we wouldn't have to do this because people wouldn't drop litter but unfortunately it is a sad fact that some people do. However I know you are not that type of person as you wouldn't be reading this blog post if you were, so although we can't stop people littering, we can do our little bit to help tackle the problem, one bag at a time.
Top Tip: Why not organise a litter picking walk in your area and get more people involved. Sometimes your local council will provide you with litter pickers so you don't even have to get your hands dirty.
Hopefully I've given you something to think about, and if you already do all of these things already, then good for you, now go and tell all of your friends to do the same! As a small business and everyday human being, I am always looking for better ways to help the planet so if you have any other earth friendly tips, let me know in the comments or drop me a message.
P.S Did you know that for every session booked with me, I plant 25 trees and reduce 0.5 tonnes of carbon via my partners at Ecologi. You can view my progress here