Interested in Greening Your Pet?

October 13th, 2011

Whether you own a pet, are thinking about getting a pet, or have close friends or family with pets, you’ll find some really interesting information in this month’s Green Moms Carnival on Green Pets. (In fact, I think with that description of pet owners, their friends and family, I just described everyone reading this post!)

From tips about adopting shelter dogs (in celebration of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month), to info about the care and feeding of pets, to my own musings about whether pet ownership can be a first step on the path to sustainability – there are a ton of great reads over at Condo Blues today.

Enjoy! And be sure to join the @GreenMoms next month for “How to Be a Green Consumer – Black Friday edition,”   hosted by Eco-novice.

Can Pets, Like Kids, Turn Adults into Greenies?

October 12th, 2011

I’m not a pet owner (much to my sons’ dismay).  So I’ll admit that I was stumped when Lisa of Condo Blues proposed hosting this month’s Green Moms Carnival on Green Pets.

Green pets? Sure, I’ve seen aisles of organic dog food, which made me grumpily think about how American dogs are treated better than millions of humans around the world.

But that was before I learned from Treehugger that “the animals used to make many pet foods are classified as “4-D,” which is really a polite way of saying “Dead, Dying, Diseased, or Down (Disabled)” when they line up at the slaughterhouse. Unless that can of Chicken ‘N Liver Delite explicitly states that it contains FDA-certified, food-grade meat, you should know that its contents are considered unfit for human consumption–but apparently good enough for your cat or pooch.”


Miss Lucy's Dog Treats at Rehoboth's Greyhounds Reach the Beach

This weekend, while I was mulling over my post for this month’s Carnival, I stopped by Rehoboth’s Greyhounds Reach the Beach pet fair to check out what was going on in the world of “green pets.” While there, I picked up some home made dog treats as holiday presents for my brother and brother-in-law. (They aren’t much for gifts, and I’m sure they’d rather have treats for their dogs than for themselves!)

I couldn’t help but notice that there were many “natural” vendors at the fair, like those selling these soy candles.

River Road Soy Candles at Greyhounds Reach the Beach

Then it hit me. Could pets, like babies, become a starting point on the journey to sustainability? Much has been written and entire movements have been formed around the concept of Moms Going Green, or Kids Greening Their Parents. But what about pets?

Can we influence other consumption patterns by opting for simple, natural treats or doggie gifts instead of something made of plastic?

RecycledStockMattedPrintsGreyhoundsReachtheBeach

Maybe that’s what those soy candles and recycled stock dog prints were doing at the pet fair! :)

Let’s hope that after buying a sustainable dog treat, more owners think about treating themselves as well as ….Fido.

Head on over to Condo Blues today, where Lisa has a slew of interesting posts from the @GreenMoms about both Greening Your Pets and National Adopt A Shelter Dog Month. In fact, that pet fair I visited? Turns out it’s held every year as part of Greyhounds Reach the Beach to encourage people to adopt greyhounds. See you next year?

– Lynn

My Subaru’s Totaled, So I’m Going Car-less….For Now

October 10th, 2011

Two totaled Subarus in five years: what are the odds? Thank God, we’re all fine, and no, neither accident was our fault!

Two weeks ago, a Jeep slammed into our 2001 Subaru Legacy. Our four-year-old was in the backseat. Ironically, that’s where his big brother was sitting on Mother’s Day, 2006, when a huge deer ran into the front of our 1999 Subaru wagon. (I was sitting in the front seat, very pregnant at the time. Thank God — and Subaru — we were all fine!)

The insurance company totaled the car because it would cost more than “the car is worth” to fix it. Says who? Talk about a waste, from a sustainability perspective!

So while we will get $9,000 or so to replace our Subaru, it’s hard – no unthinkable – to replace the car we bought new with someone else’s old car.

At first, I took it as a great green challenge to go carless. After all, we live near metro, I walk to my office, and the school bus comes to the corner. It was just the other week that I turned down a corporate Zip Car membership. Maybe time to reconsider?  Or what about BlaBlaCar, a ride-sharing service that cuts carbon – and costs?

But the thought of trekking several blocks with a sick kid in tow to grab a Zipcar to get to the doctors made me realize I didn’t want to give up the convenience of a car in my driveway, ready to roll.  And BlaBlaCar, regrettably, is not yet available in the US.

So now I’m back to square one, thinking about what to do next.

What about you, dear readers? Does your family get by with just one car? How do you do it, when you live outside a city center?  Am I crazy to think about trying to survive with just one family car?  (DH  uses the wagon for his commute).

Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

– Lynn