We're a team of animal lovers here at AARVEN, with the majority of us owning at least one pet! We even have our own pet accessories through our sister brand Hiro + Wolf. We're also people who are passionate about sustainability. Owning a pet can be challenging in many ways, but one of the things that always stands out to us is just how wasteful and unsustainable it can be. We love our pets and we love our planet, so we've done a lot of research on ways we can help to lessen ours and our pets environmental paw print. Here are our top tips for being a more sustainable pet owner...
Buy eco-friendly pet food and care products for your pets. More and more eco-conscious pet food and care brands are emerging everyday! The best things to look out for are locally made products that use natural ingredients with recyclable and / or recycled packaging. We love the range of shampoos from great UK based brand WILD WASH made from totally natural ingredients that are much kinder on the environment (as well as your dog’s skin).
Bulk Buy. To keep your pet’s environmental “pawprint” small, buy pet food in bulk quantities whenever possible. Some pet shops or zero waste shops offer refillable pet food that you can purchase by bringing along your own container to fill up, also avoiding unnecessary packaging. If you can’t find refillable food, buying in bulk is still a great option, just try and find locally made food, preferably in recyclable packaging.
Consider trying ‘green’ flea and tick treatments. The most common flea and tick treatments use fairly harsh chemicals and often come in lots of plastic packaging, all of which is damaging to the environment. Instead, you could try a natural flea repellent that can be applied daily and smells great too! Simply mix together 5 drops each of tea tree oil, peppermint oil, citronella oil, rosemary oil and eucalyptus oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Just shake and then spritz your pooch daily. You can also buy 100% natural flea and tick repellents that are better for your pup and better for the planet. As always, be sure to consult your vet before trying any new treatments with your pets.
Check the packaging. Make sure to recycle your pet food containers or buy food in biodegradable packaging. Not all pet food packaging is recyclable, so be sure to check before you buy. Edgard & Cooper make great, natural pet food that comes in biodegradable bags made from plants! They are the first pet food brand with a full range of biodegradable bags. Just remember - biodegradable packaging goes into general waste, not recycling. Metal tins that are often used for pet food should also always be recyclable. Metal is the world's most recycled material, with 75% of all aluminium used since 1888 still in use today!
Donate old pet gear. Don’t throw out gently used collars, leashes, beds, clothing, bowls or toys. Give them a second life by donating them to a local animal shelter or rescue organisation. Also, be sure to repair any lightly damaged leads or collars rather than buying brand new replacements. Many pet brands will offer various repairs, including Hiro + Wolf! Just get in touch with them directly to discuss your options.
Ask, who made my clothes? When purchasing accessories for your pets the same rules apply as when choosing for yourself. Try to buy from brands who manufacture locally and have high ethical standards. All of Hiro + Wolf's collections are made by a small team in the U.K. Their own design fabric is also printed in the Lake District like the New York! New York! print which is made using organic cotton. Did you know you can shop select Hiro + Wolf products on our website? Click here.
Compost your pet’s waste. Plastic poo bags take anywhere from 10 to 100 years to degrade, with some scientists arguing it’s even longer than that. If you want to start composting your pet’s waste be sure to do your research and compost responsibly! OR use biodegradable poo bags. This is a great option if you are unable to compost your pet’s waste or for picking up messes on the go! Adios Plastic makes amazing, 100% biodegradable and compostable poo bags from plants. Adios Plastic also works with 1% for the planet, donating a percentage of sales to help protect sea life and bring an end to the high levels of plastic in our Oceans. They even come in trendy colours, choose between pink or grey here.
Try natural cat litter. Cat litter has a significant environmental impact, with the silica clay commonly used in supermarket brands derived from environmentally-destructive strip mining, in which mining companies bulldoze the surface until finding the desired mineral – a practice that can destroy local environments flora and fauna. These types of cat litter have also been linked to health problems in cats that are exposed to the dust. Alternatives are wood shavings, recycled newspaper, and even fibrous material from annually renewable wheat or maize.
Do you have your own pet sustainability ideas? Why not share them with us!