It’s probably occurred to you that just like humans, pets and the products we use to care for them have a significant impact on our environment. On the plus side, being in close relationship to animals help connect us to nature. By sharing our lives with these formerly undomesticated creatures, we get more attuned to the natural world and hopefully better stewards of the land. Yet, we’ve entered a new era, one that A Sierra Club article described as “the calculating Sparky’s CO2 emissions phase.”
The statistics are staggering, as most climate crisis data points are: According to a 2017 study, just feeding the cats and dogs of North America emits up to 64 million tons of greenhouse gases a year, which has about the same climate impact as a year’s worth of driving from 13.6 million cars.
Or to put an even finer point on it, “The average European cat uses as many resources in his lifetime as the average African,” said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in a presentation to the Pet Sustainability Council.
As you yourself become more aware of the necessity of reducing your own carbon footprint, consider these five tips to make caring for your furry friend more sustainable as well.