It's fair to say most of the world has declared war with plastic. But plastic isn't necessarily the enemy we've made it out to be. A controversial statement I know, particularly given the current climate, but it's worth highlighting that plastic can be beneficial for example plastic packaging has helped reduce food waste through prolonging the shelf life of many goods. The true enemy is single use plastic particularly where easy, affordable, sustainable options exist like reusable tote bags.
Some scary single use plastic stats
- Packaging makes up the largest proportion of global plastic production and a whopping 40% is used just once.
- Less than a fifth of all plastic is recycled globally.
- A third of plastic produced flows into our oceans.
Once plastic leaves your life, it doesn't biodegrade. It can either be recycled, goes to landfill or is left discarded in our oceans or elsewhere where it breaks down into micro plastics. Recyclable plastic is better than single use plastic. Unfortunately, plastic can't be recycled infinitely and will ultimately end up in discarded or in landfill so it's best to curb our addiction to single use plastic if we want to protect our planet.
From plastic consumption to food choices, our pooches have their own paw print. There are almost 1 billion dogs globally and 8 million in the UK alone, which collectively leaves a sizeable footprint. In our Earth Day blog we suggested small changes that you can make to tread a little lighter on the planet. In this blog, we explore five tips to help your pooch leave a lighter paw print.
1. Steer clear of poo bins
Estimated at well over 1000 tonnes A DAY in the UK alone, a lot of single use plastic poo bags are used daily and dumped into poo bins or litter bins. More environmentally conscious pet parents opt for compostable or biodegradable bags but if dumped in the same spot, these ultimately end up in landfill. Biodegradable bags require certain conditions to trigger biodegradation which landfill doesn't offer, so this doesn't end up any greener.
We have to pick up after our dogs, not only as its illegal not to and anti-social plus if everyone stopped picking up after their dog that would literally be too much poo to deal with. So what can we do?
There isn't a perfect solution quite yet for disposing dog poo and we're still holding out for Envy's vaPOOriser but to avoid adding to the landfill problem, opt for a dicki bag to compost at home (not with your normal compost) or if your local water centre permits, flush it down the loo. You can buy flushable bags and use a dicky bag to comfortably and odourlessly transport your dogs poop home to flush.
2. Feed a healthy dog food
Junk free dog food not only benefits your dog's health but what goes in must come out. Lots of dog foods are full of added sugars, salt and lots of carbohydrates plus difficult to digest ingredients. Opting for a high quality dog food that's easy to digest will result in better poos and less of it. Fewer poos means fewer poos bags.
Pound for pound, a high quality dog food is more nutrient rich. Less is more, which means a bag of food will last you longer. Explore our range of healthy dog food.
3. Opt for lighter meats
Animal agriculture leaves a hefty carbon footprint. You don't need to subscribe your dog to a vegetarian diet to save the planet. By making conscious decisions on which meats are in your dog food, you can reduce your dog's carbon footprint substantially. Beef is a popular meat used in pet food but it leaves a huge footprint behind. A simple choice of chicken over beef, can cut your dog's footprint in half!
4. Choosing green packaging
Packaging accounts for the majority of plastic production and a lot of it isn't recycled. Packaging suppliers are focused on improving the ease of recycling newly produced plastics and exploring greener alternatives. We're delighted that our natural dog treats are not only baked in carbon neutral ovens but are packed into plastic free, vegetable lined paper bags. The vegetable lining acts as a moisture barrier and the bags can be recycled with your normal paper or composted at home. Healthy, tasty and with clinically proven active ingredients, our Gnasher dog dental sticks are tough on plaque and kind to the planet.
5. Skip the plane
Walking and cycling isn't always an option and there are no true green alternatives quite yet. So should you plane, train or travel by car? Flying has one of the heftiest environmental impacts and flying with your dog brings a lot of stress and challenges. You'll either need a private plane from the UK to have your dog in the cabin by your side, or have to drive across the channel first. You can help reduce your pawprints opting for public transport to get to the airport instead of travelling by car. For short distances like crossing the channel, drive instead of fly and for your next trip, why not explore a staycation.
We previously wrote a blog for tips on travelling abroad with pets. More and more hotels, lodges and other types of accommodation are becoming dog friendly. Check out Pets Pyjamas who specialise in dog friendly getaways for some staycation inspo.
Sources and Further reading
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