Around 4 months ago we got a new addition to our household. Everyone say hello to Stella our new yellow lab.
The Microvist project is all about making sustainable choices and improve habits through small changes. Getting a new pet will mean a lot of new choices to make for most people so we put together some top tips on sustainable pet options.
Sustainability is a journey, not an easy on/off so you’ll most likely start off like us and still have some way to go before your pet is an eco warrior. I wouldn’t worry about that too much, the important thing is to make changes where you can over time and get plenty of cuddles from your pet while you do it.
Just like any other toys, many pet toys are made from or contain plastic. However there are alternatives. One we’ve tried is Jute fibre pet toys.
Jute is a can be spun into coarse, strong threads which make for a really durable toy.
We got one of these and it’s lasting much better than Stella’s other toys, so the plan is to get more as her other toys wear out.
It’s pretty likely your pet will poop a lot.
If you’re a dog owner poo bags are an essential to have in your pockets at all times. Biodegradable poo bags are a perfect alternative to regular plastic poo bags.
For cat owners, the most common cat litters are clay-based which is obtained via strip mining. That’s not so great for the environment, but a quick search for eco cat litter will give you a good selection of planet friendly alternatives.
New puppies love to snooze, around 18-20 hours per day! They also like to chew things so can quickly wreck that nice new dog bed you bought them.
Start off with some old blankets, towels or soft woolly jumper. Once you’re confident the chewing has stopped you can upgrade to a real bed. This should save you cleaning up lots of fluff and buying two beds.
For us we had an old robe from my wife. The robe had seen better days with holes starting to appear at the seams so a few extra chews were no issue. She also seemed to really like sleeping on it, probably due to the smell (I know my wife will read this so I need to note my wife smells good).
When you upgrade to a real bed have a search around and you’re sure to find some eco friendly alternatives. Alternatives such as beds made from recycled or more natural biodegradable materials.
I’ll be honest here, we didn’t think about this until we had already bought a bed from the pet store. But now we know when it needs replacing we’ll put in the effort to source something even better for the planet.
Buy it in bulk to save money and reduce the packaging.
We go through quite a bit of food and the bags are piling up. These are durable bags so keeping some will come in handy but eventually we’ll have more than we have a use for.
The same applies for treats. Our Stella is a good girl most of the time so she gets plenty of treats but that means lots of packaging.
Really in the food category we’ll have to do some more research to see if there’s any more planet friendly alternatives. If you have any recommendations let us know in the comments.
We like to get out and enjoy nature. Now with a dog we have even more of an excuse to do so.
While on these walks it’s nice to give back a little and adding a litter pick is a great way to do that. Get your gloves on, bring a bag and you’re ready to go.
Try our trashtag challenge on Microvist (you don’t even need a dog as an excuse to get out there and do good).
Giving To The Next Pet Owner
For a new pupp you’ll likely get a few things that you only really need for the first few months. Those were a dog crate and a couple pen fences for us.
These kept our Stella safe when we didn’t have eyes on her such as at night or when cooking.
Now that we no longer need them it is time for us to pass them on. This means someone else will be able to use them without having to buy new. This saves them some cash and the planet the cost it takes to manufacture these from new again. I’ve found freecycle a good place to pass on items you don’t need that are still functional. If you’re looking for these items Gumtree, Ebay (remember to filter by used) or any other second hand marketplace are a great places to search.
That said we will be keeping one of the pens a little longer. We’re confident Stella knows not to chew things in the house anymore. But she has recently grown fond of digging in what I hope to be my veg patch come spring so some extra protection is needed.
Got any tips of your own or cute pet pics to share? Leave us a comment ❤️