Green Your Pet

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Story Updated: Feb 17, 2012

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Green Your Pet

By Jeanann Pannasch for Green Goes Simple

When our daughter began teetering around our home independently, I became seriously concerned about the dust on the floor surrounding our feline powder room. How could I be sure it was safe?

I soon realized that our litter was clay-based, meaning it was created through strip-mining (a process that is massively destructive to the earth), and the silica dust left behind was a health risk to our kitties’ lungs as well as our own. Fortunately, there are litter alternatives, including those made from newspaper, wheatgrass and pine. We made an easy transition to a pine variety and voila: No dust underfoot and less impact on the earth!

If your pet is a pooch, you can easily green your walks with biodegradable waste bags. These corn-based sacks break down and begin composting within days. Of course, if you want a truly earth-conscious pet, bring home a guinea pig or hamster. These fuzz balls eat little, create minimal waste and are blissful in their cages, earning them top billing as the greenest pet. Plus, you can’t beat holding your pet in your palm!

Jeanann Pannasch is an editor at The Feminist Press, and a former editor at Ms. and Spin magazines. She's written for Ms., Self, The Women's Sports Foundation, MSNBC.com and LifetimeTV.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, four-year-old daughter and two long-clawed cats. Her articles have previously appeared on Green Goes Simple.

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