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Your Pet’s Footprint

Posted on October 27, 2017 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

Every living thing is responsible for its own particular ecological footprint. Humans are mostly the culprit for a majority of global warming causes although the number one source is methane release from the agricultural industry, namely livestock.

According to a Stanford Environmental Law Journal report (10/25/15),

“A multitude of environmental problems our planet faces share a common instigator: animal agriculture and our reliance on meat and dairy products. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), global agriculture—dominated by livestock production and the grains grown to support it—accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. A 2006 study by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) finds that 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions is directly attributable to livestock production, which is more than the emissions attributable to the entire transportation sector.”

However, no one ever really addresses the carbon footprint of pets. Just like humans, there are some significant numbers that bring to light the potential for the pet industry and pet owners alike to consider reducing a pet’s environmental footprint.

Pet Food

When it comes to pet supplies, feeding your pet has become as sophisticated as many human meals. Some pet owners still rely on basic dry food from a bag or box shaken into a bowl a few times per day. Yet others invest in top notch formulas that require high amounts of protein from animal sources. Although the latter choice requires more resources and results in a higher carbon footprint, the overall pet food industry is now under the carbon footprint microscope.

According to The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES),

“A controversial study published in 2009 equated the cost of keeping a mid-sized dog eating a normal diet with the environmental cost of driving an SUV 12,500 miles a year.”


Being animals, pets are part of the global warming cause as referred to in the aforementioned Stanford study. However, in addition to the methane release from pet waste, there is also the environmental impact of pet waste bags and cleanup.

GreenBlizzard reports that, “between 10-20% of our water pollution comes from neglected pet waste.” This is why companies like TerraCycle have emerged. TerraCycle is a private U.S. small business headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey makes consumer products from pre-consumer and post-consumer waste and by reusing other waste materials.

In the meantime, replacing your conventional plastic bag pet cleanup with a more compostable products or even biodegradable choices could make a significant difference.

Maintenance and Fun

Just like a growing child, your pet requires more than just food and cleanup. Your pet requires grooming, household conveniences such as a bed, special food or water bowl, and toys, lots of toys.

All of these are just as much a potential drain on the environment as are many human necessities. Rather than your pet care, toys and supplies ending up in a landfill, choosing products that have been recycled or are recyclable is one step toward a more sustainable pet. Add in products made from materials such as bamboo, bagasse or stainless steel and the longevity and full life cycle of these become less of an environmental drain.


Don’t let your pet get away with non-green living while you do your part. Implement these and more Eco-friendly pet practices such as purchasing socially conscious pet products rather than those made from overseas child labor. The more you forge a green path for your pet’s life, chances are that green change among humans will be mirrored by pets as well.

This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Your Green Home and was tagged with COMPOSTABLE, green pets, pets, RECYCLED-UPCYCLED, SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS, SUSTAINABLE


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