Earth Day 2018 – How to be a more Earth-Friendly Pet Owner

April 22 is celebrated as Earth Day each year.  This year, take a moment to reflect on your current habits with your pet and ask yourself…how can I make my pet ownership more eco-friendly?

The first is to really reduce your carbon footprint by reusing and recycling as much as possible. But, how?

Here are a few ideas:

Dog Owners:

  • Biodegradable poop bags

Biodegradable pet waste bags have been on the market for years now. They are easily found at big-box stores and on the internet. It is important to note that not all ‘biodegradable’ products are the same.

It is quite possible that the “green” poop bags that you’re already using aren’t as earth-friendly as they seem. In 2015, the FTC warned that some bag makers may be falsely claiming that their products are biodegradable or compostable.

So, with that being said, let’s take a look at some reputable companies that stand behind their earth-friendly claims.

BioBag is the brand that I trust. Their bags meet the ASTM international standards for compostable plastic, ASTM D6400.  That means that these bags will actually compost.

Flush Puppies are another great option if you need water-soluble pet waste bags. Read on to see how you can flush those puppies!

Cat Owners:

  • Change your cat’s litter

Most cat litter on the market is made from non-biodegradable clay that is mined from the earth. It is then used by your cat and ‘returned’ to the earth in the form of landfill. We can reduce landfill use by using a biodegradable cat litter that is also made from the by-product of another industry.

Be careful how you do this, as some cats are very particular about their litter. If you decide to change your cat’s litter to a more eco-friendly product, do so slowly. Change it over a 1/4 at a time each time you scoop the litter box, over the course of 4 days. On the 4th day, your cat should be using 100% new litter.

In my experience, cats that have always used clay litter do best texture-wise when switched to sWheat scoop litter.

sWheat scoop is made from wheat.  It is biodegradable, fragrance-free, dust-free and comes from a renewable resource.

Even if you are against all grain, gluten-free or Celiac….wheat production continues to happen around the globe. You can help in using some of the by-product of this production by using wheat-based cat littler like sWheat scoop.

All pet owners:

  • Change the way you dispose of your pet’s waste

Throwing the dog and cat waste into the regular garbage, even in a BioBag, won’t help completely.  This will still go into a landfill somewhere.

The best thing you can do is to create a pet-waste only composter in your yard. Consider using one like the Doggie Dooley pet-waste only composting bin.

You can also flush your dog’s waste, depending on where you live. Some waste systems will even accommodate water-soluble waste bags, such as Flush Puppies. Keep in mind that pet waste bags are not recommended for septic systems.

You can also bury your pet’s waste if you live in a rural area, away from gardens and water sources.

Research what types of waste your municipal composer will accept. Many cities have pet waste disposal companies that will come take your pet’s waste away in the most eco-friendly way possible.

Cat waste, especially if you use a product like sWheat Scoop, can be flushed into most septic or sewer systems.

Making Changes

When making more eco-friendly changes in your homes and in your pet’s lives, stop for a moment to consider other ways that you can reduce, reuse and recycle. Our Mother Earth will appreciate your efforts.


**The author receives no benefit, monetary or otherwise, from recommending the products mentioned in this article.