Green Your Pet

When our daughter first started moving about our house on her own, I became quite worried about the amount of dust that was on the floor in the area that was around the bathroom for our cats. How could I know for certain that it was risk-free?

It didn’t take me long to figure out that our cat litter was made of clay, which means that it was produced by strip mining, which is a technique that is extremely harmful to the environment. Additionally, the silica dust that was left behind posed a threat to the lungs of both our cats and ourselves. We are fortunate to have alternatives to traditional forms of litter, such as those formed from newspaper, wheatgrass, and pine. We were able to make the switch to a pine type with relative ease, and as a result, there is far less dust underfoot and less of an influence on the environment.

Using biodegradable trash bags on your walks with your dog is an easy way to reduce your impact on the environment. Within a few days, these bags made from maize start to decompose and become compost. Bring a guinea pig or hamster into your house if you want a pet that is really concerned of its impact on the environment. As a result of the fact that they consume a little amount of food, generate a low amount of trash, and are content while living in their enclosures, these fuzzy balls have earned the title of “greenest pet.” Plus, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of cradling your pet in your hand!

Jeanann Pannasch is now an editor at The Feminist Press. Previously, she worked as an editor at the magazines Ms. and Spin. She has written for publications such as Ms. and Self, as well as websites such as and She shares her home in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, who is four years old, and two cats with long claws.

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