- Join the Poop Brigade. Cleaning up after your pet is a no-brainer to help the Earth (and your back yard!). Don’t forget to scoop in the dog park to keep diseases like parvo from spreading. Let’s face it: dog waste looks and smells bad.
- Make the Switch. Use biodegradable poop bags. These bags decompose in about the same amount of time as an apple core, about 2 months. Compare that to an estimated 400 years for plastic bags!
- Go Natural. (We’re talking about your dog, not you. What happens in Vegas ……) Consider feeding your pup foods and treats that are more natural and have a high vegetable content. Don’t forget to do your homework though; the terms “organic” and “natural” are not always synonymous. A raw meat diet is a current trend but the jury is still out as to the real benefits for domesticated canines.
- Clean Green. Use cleaning and household products that are good for the environment. Most are made from botanically derived ingredients. Of course, an inexpensive option is white vinegar. Sure, it has a certain “aroma”, but is nontoxic and leaves no harmful residue your dog can lick. It disinfects many household surfaces from windows to toilets.
- Don’t Bug Me. Pests can inflict a lot of damage to your yard and garden. Wait — so can your dog! But bugs are just not as cute as our furry babies. There are insecticidal soaps that can be used to repel insects yet are safe for people and pets. For more information, consult a local nursery. Now if only there was something that could really fix those yellow spots in the yard…..
- Proud to be Sanitizer-Free. Hand sanitizer contains alcohol, which kills germs but is toxic. If your dog were to ingest a small bottle of hand sanitizer, it would be about the equivalent of a shot of hard liquor. This could cause a severe drop in your pet’s blood sugar, loss of coordination, low body temperature, nervous system depression, coma, and death. Keep them out of reach of your pooch. Better yet, wash with good old soap and water. Scrub as long as it takes you to sing the Happy Birthday song. You’ll feel a bit silly, but your dog will be safe.
- Please Recycle. Linens. Donate old blankets and sheets to your local shelter or rescue. They provide beds and comfort for the animals housed there.
- Sock Monster. Does your washing machine eat your socks? Make a dog toy out of it. Put a tennis ball inside a sock. You can fling it pretty far and your pup will love chasing this novel toy.
- Recycle. Adopt a Dog. Want a new friend for yourself or your pet? Adopt a dog from a rescue group or shelter. Have your new pet spayed or neutered to reduce overpopulation. Can’t adopt right now? Volunteer with a rescue group to help pups in need find their forever homes. You’ll always have the satisfaction of knowing that you saved a life on Earth Day.
Wendell Berry said it best: “The earth is what we all have in common.” How better to celebrate Earth Day every day with our best friend.