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How to raise a zero-waste pet
Help your fur baby be kind to the planet. Here’s how to be a sustainable pet parent.
A zero-waste lifestyle doesn’t have to end with the humans in your home. You can equip your best mate with the best intentions for a waste-free world too.
Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world, with the RSPCA reporting there are more than 29 million pets in Australian households. And while the cute companions bring positive effects to our happiness, they can also have detrimental effects on the environment when it comes to waste.
Whether you’re one of the 40 per cent of households who own a dog, or one of the 27 per cent who house a cat, here are simple changes to your four-legged housemate’s food, toys and health that can help lighten their impact on the earth.
Simple changes to make to be a sustainable pet parent
Make over your mealtime
The food bowl is the perfect place to start on your war against pet waste. Consider making your pet’s food yourself to cut down on plastic packaging. Be sure to do your research, however, because dogs and cats have a range of differing nutritional needs in their diets.
Alternatively, buy the food in bulk. Ask your pet store if you can fill up your own container, or opt for the biggest bag of food they have so you’re minimising packaging.
Use poop power
You’ve made your own bathroom zero waste, now do the same for your furry friend. Rather than bagging and throwing your pooch’s poo in landfill, compost it and use it as a sustainable fertiliser. You’ll need a dedicated pet-waste composting system, which will break down specific parasites and prep the poop for normal composting use in about a year. A word of warning here: don’t use composted pet waste to grow vegetables or fruit for human consumption, and don’t include waste from unknown dogs or those showing signs of disease.
For an earth-friendly on-the-go option, invest in biodegradable doggy bags or use an old newspaper for kerbside clean-ups.
While cat poo isn’t compost-friendly, there are environmentally friendly kitty litter options available to keep their toilet time clean.