START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

10 Green Tips for You & Your Pet

  • November 19, 2012
  • 4:08 pm

5. Go green in the litter box

A litter box is a home essential. While most shoppers will reach for traditional fare—old-fashioned clay, pastel-colored clumping, and coarse sand—there are a number of litter choices that are not only efficient at fighting odor, but have also proven to be beneficial for the environment. Litters made from natural materials such as pine sawdust and shavings, recycled newspaper, corn cobs, peanut shells, wheat, hardwood cedar chips, and even processed orange peels are not only 100 percent biodegradable, but are often longer-lasting and better at blocking odors than their traditional counterparts, according to the ASPCA’s Cat Care Pick of the Litter report. For people using biodegradable fare, it is recommended that the use of litter for composting purposes be done after scooping and should only be used for non-vegetable plant life.

6. Use biodegradable poop bags

While most responsible pet guardians rely on grocery bags and other plastic doody receptacles for Fido’s fecal matter, there are other more eco-friendly options to consider. Biodegradable poop bags are sold at most pet stores around the country and provide walkers with an easy way to scoop the poop while also being green-friendly. Traditional plastic bags can take more than 100 years to break down, ultimately creating a mummified poop relic. According to Rick Nava, co-owner of Doody Calls, a professional pet-waste removal service based in San Mateo, California, flushing the dog waste is still the best and safest way of disposal. Biodegradable bags allow the droppings to fertilize, spreading nutrients into Mother Earth’s core; however, it only truly works if it’s disposed in special compost piles rather than traditional contained landfills.

7. Buy eco-friendly toys

Pet toys are often made of materials like rubber and plastic, which aren’t necessarily eco-friendly. But there a number of companies that specialize in pet products made from recycled materials. Katie’s Bumpers, for example, uses pre-consumer recycled materials to create an array of pet toys. “It’s the right thing to do and customers love it,” says founder Jill Nazimek who runs the company with her husband Greg. Other eco-friendly options include items made of natural materials such as rope pull toys and plush chew toys made of natural fibers.

8. Grow your own catnip

Catnip is a natural herbal mood enhancer and like anything else—better delivered fresh. Growing your own catnip saves money, avoids our landfills from more packaging waste, and above all will provide your cat with 100 percent natural nip that is safe, and free of all pesticides and other chemical additives. Growing the plants is as easy as growing wild mint and can provide enough nip to keep your cat euphoric for years.

9. Compost your pet’s poop

Composting pet waste can be a bit tricky—that’s because harmful bacteria and pathogens such as parasitic worms can spread disease. “As a general rule, we urge folks to exercise caution when composting with pet waste,” says Doug McKalip of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. He also adds that at-home composters should watch out for vermin. However, McKalip points to Alaska as an example of one state that has had success in reducing pet-waste volume through composting. For tips on backyard composting, visit

10. Plant a tree in honor of your pet

A tree can serve as a permanent, growing memorial to your favorite furry companion, while also adding to the landscape, providing a suitable home or shelter for wildlife, and benefiting the environment. There are nationwide companies, such as TreeGivers, which will plant a tree for you and provide a certificate of planting, sympathy letter, and handwritten message card. TreeGivers uses public lands in all 50 states and Canada, and plants trees appropriate for each climate. You may also opt to plant a tree or shrub on your own property to memorialize your loved one. According to, willow trees represent the beginning of spring, palm trees signify eternity, and fruit trees symbolize life and renewal.

Farm Animals Are Friends, Not Food
3 Ways to Help Animals in Need
Students: Just Say No to Dissection

Read more: Cats, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Humor & Inspiration, Pet Health, Pets, , , ,

Selected by Laura Drucker, TAILS Editor

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love


TAILS is an interactive website, online community, and print magazine that celebrates the relationship between pets and their people. TAILS features expert knowledge, advice, pet product reviews, local resource guides, community event listings, and fun contests to promote and encourage people to live responsibly with their pets.


+ add your own
10:55PM PDT on Oct 9, 2014

I knew this blog post was existed someplace. Thanks to post such articles. Will unquestionably be using it very soon. (source)

9:44PM PDT on Aug 13, 2014


9:31AM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

Awesome tips, sharing!

11:11AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

great tips :) all of them

9:39PM PST on Dec 28, 2012

Thank you.

12:02PM PST on Dec 7, 2012

great tips, thanks for sharing :)

9:58PM PST on Nov 27, 2012

Staying away from clay kitty litter as cats to lick their paws ingesting the concrete.

8:44AM PST on Nov 24, 2012

Good tips. Thanks very much.

8:18AM PST on Nov 24, 2012

Good post. Thanks.

8:13AM PST on Nov 24, 2012

Thank you.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Some fantastically looking ideas! Thanks

today, the answer would be don't work or don't volunteer to sit on a committee for which you are sti…

Some yummy choices. I am not vegan but I am always looking for meat free sandwiches. I will pass on …

Thank you for sharing.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!