This plastic-free July, The Scamps and I have been considering some of the ways we could be more environmentally conscious. As a responsible pet owner there are a number of small, everyday changes you can make when caring for your pet that will help you to tread more lightly on the planet.
Did you know that the average dog produces an annual carbon footprint the equivalent to a flight from Paris to New York – and back. Double it if you’ve got two dogs, like me. And when you consider that 3.2million households welcomed pets into their homes in the last year, that’s around 3.2million tons of CO2 emissions on average.
And when it comes to plastic, a whole rubbish truck full is dumped into our oceans every minute – with many dog treat and toy packaging included.
But one small business is on a mission to educate owners about being more sustainable in their everyday choices, from grooming products to poo bags.
Enviropaws launched in November and have been developing a range of plastic-free products to help pet lovers make more planet-friendly choices, including poo bags, wipes and paw balm.
The brand said: “Enviropaws was established with the sole aim of helping pet parents do their best for the environment. We are only focused on sustainable pet products, for a better tomorrow.”
Here are three products we’ve been using that are better for the environment than mainstream alternatives.
Enviropaws compostable poop bags
There’s a big, big difference between biodegradable and compostable – and it’s one way manufacturers have been greenwashing owners into thinking their poop bags are better for the planet.
Biodegradable products will eventually disintegrate over time, usually over hundreds of years, into smaller pieces but these can still be harmful to organisms. These smaller pieces of plastic fragments are known today as microplastics. Compostable bags on the other hand decompose into non-toxic organic matter which can be broken down to form a nutrient rich soil or “compost”.
Enviropaws’ poop bags are certified home compostable, made from 100 per cent plant based materials, and will break down in a matter of weeks, rather than years.
The bags are extra large, thick, super strong and leak proof – so everything you need in a poop bag when you have an American bulldog whose poops are the size of a donkey’s.
Each roll fits within standard sized dispensers making them easy to use, and difficult to forget to leave the house with. They fit perfectly in both my SBRI leather bag holder, and my PrettyLittleThing dispenser, too.
There is a small cardboard tube inside each of the rolls, which are fully recyclable, along with the box that they come packaged in, too.
The bags come in packs of 60 for £5.49, or packs of 120 for £10.49, which is ideal for multi-dog households or dog walkers. I always recommend buying in bulk where you can, though, as this saves on fuel and thus is more economical.
Enviropaws compostable plant based wipes
Got a dog who can’t help but get their paws mucky? Me too. Frank only has to nip out for a wee in a drizzle and it’s like he’s taken part in a Tough Mudder.
These compostable pet cleansing and conditioning mitts are perfect for wiping mucky paws, cleaning off pollen and sand in summer, and freshening your pet up between baths.
The mitts are made from natural bamboo fibre, as well as being pH balanced so are suitable for sensitive areas such as eyes, nose, underbellies and everything in between. They have a really fresh shea butter and sparkling orange fragrance that will leave your dog smelling gorgeous and clean, without causing any harm to the planet.
The mitts are hypoallergenic, alcohol free, paraben free and chlorine free, and can actually be lightly rinsed and used multiple times too, making the pack last even longer. We’ve found we always get at least two uses from one mitt, but they can often last much longer, particularly if you’re just using them to wipe paws after nipping out for a wee or after a walk.
There are 15 mitts in one £10.49 pack, which comes in packaging made from recycled plastic, which can then go into your own recycling bin, too.
Enviropaws Natural Dog Balm
Just like you might swap from cotton pads to reusable cloths in your skincare routine, there are some more sustainable choices that can be made when it comes to looking after your dog’s skin, too.
Suitable for skin, nose, paws and elbows, the Enviropaws Natural Dog Balm comes in at £8.49 and smells beautiful. The handmade product is all-natural including ingredients like hemp, lavender and peppermint oils. Hemp oil contains Omega 3 and Omega 6, both of which are great for skin health, which is particularly important for bull breeds who are prone to skin conditions.
The balm comes in a metal tin which comes in handy for travelling – making it a must-have holiday essential to pack in your pooch’s bag, and helps keep snoots and toe beans in tip top condition.