8 Ways to Make Every Day Earth Day With Your Dog
Today is Earth Day, so why not include your best pal as we all pause to appreciate our home planet? With a little planning and consideration, minimizing your carbon pawprint is not only easy, it's fun!
Okay, so maybe every day can't be Earth Day -- yet. But as you'll see, there are simple ways to incorporate an element of this important day into your daily routine for the rest of the year. How's this for incentive: You'll be doing your part to help make the planet we all share a happy, healthy place for generations of Dogster readers to come!
Plastic bags sit in landfills for 1,000 years before decomposing. That's a disgraceful way to dis Mother Nature. And it gets worse: When they're not clogging landfills, plastic bags get blown by the wind hither and yon, into trees and out onto the ocean, where marine wildlife mistakes them for food, suffering injury and death by ingesting them. I don't want that on my conscience -- do you?
2. "Doo" unto others
While you're in poop-scoop mode, if you happen to notice dog waste that someone else has left behind, and if there's room in your biodegradable bag, why not scoop it up? Adopting a "No Turd Left Behind" policy is an Earth-friendly move that's good for your local community and the global community.
3. Make a home-cooked meal using healthy ingredients from nature's pantry
Try mixing cooked organic broccoli (dogs love the stems), spinach, pumpkin, and/or lentils and serve this veggie medley over some organic quinoa or millet. Add in a spoonful of coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon and turmeric, and you've got the makings of an Earth Day feast fit for a top dog of the human or canine persuasion!
4. Forgo chemical cleaning products
Instead, consider eco-friendly ones made from botanically derived ingredients. Or, better yet, try cleaning with white vinegar. It's cheap, nontoxic, and leaves no harmful residue for dogs to lick. It works safely and effectively to clean and disinfect a variety of surfaces around your animal house, from windows to toilets.
5. Skip the hand sanitizer
If you're a neatnik who likes to swab your mitts with hand sanitizer between dog walks, consider this: Most brands contain toxic triclosan, an antibacterial agent that's harmful to people and the environment. (It's been strongly linked to endocrine problems, immune system weakness, and uncontrolled cell growth.) Switch to a safer sanitizer that's triclosan-free, such as CleanWell. (It's great for swabbing your dog's paws, too).
6. Just say no to pesticides
As long as you're minimizing poisonous chemicals around the house, consider using natural pesticides. They really work without posing a hazard to pets, people, or the planet. Diatomaceous earth kills roaches and fleas, yet it's totally nontoxic. Meanwhile, to prevent mosquitoes from bugging your best friend (or you), shampoo with grooming products containing nontoxic Neem oil, a biopesticide.
7. Defur in the great outdoors
Take advantage of this lovely springtime weather by visiting a nearby park with your canine companion and bringing a handy deshedding tool (such as the FurMinator) to groom your dog, so it's not a boring indoor chore. Leave the shedded hairs out there on the grass, and birds -- nature's own industrious architects -- will quickly repurpose these bits of fluff to use in building their nests. Alfresco grooming also saves the energy it would've required to run your vacuum cleaner had you done the chore indoors!
8. Dog Adoption is the noblest form of recycling
If there's room in your animal house, please visit your local animal shelter and select a buddy for your best buddy. They'll keep each other company while you're away from home -- and you'll always have the special satisfaction of knowing that you saved a life on Earth Day.
How are you observing Earth Day this year? Lets us know in the comments!