How to lower the environmental impact of your pet

sunrise-house-rabbitThis week, for Change the World Wednesday, Small Footprints has challenged us about one of my favourite topics:

Lowering the environmental impact of your pet…

I love animals, don’t you? When I moved in with Mr Green I came with a few changes of clothes, 3 cats and a German Shepherd dog; they were part of the package deal 😉

Our last remaining cat did her part for our zero waste lifestyle by enjoying the BARF (bones and raw food) diet. As well as being packaging friendly, the BARF diet is healthy and nutritious for hunting animals. She was a farm cat; a great huntress most of her life, she toileted outside and apart from shredding curtains and furniture, did little to damage the environment.

Now we have one cute bunny called Sunrise who has leapt into our hearts (and you can see from the photo above who is the most besotted!)

Sunrise the bunny does her bit for the environment too. For starters she’s vegan which means her bedding can go straight on the compost heap, where it adds valuable dry ingredients to the mix.

We forage in the fields for her food (she’s above nibbling her own from the ground you understand) which means she eats local, seasonal food.

During the spring her moulting fur is stuffed into our hedges for the birds to nest with.

Her hutch was second hand and her run is made from fire guards we bought when Little Miss Green was a toddler.

Hay is gathered ourselves from the fields (thank you farmer for sharing your bounty), or is sourced from a UK supplier who deliver the goods in cardboard boxes.

Sawdust is a by-product of Mr Green cutting wood for our wood burner.

Straw is sourced locally in large paper sacks.

Sunrise even drinks out of a pottery dish rather than a plastic bottle.

The only carbon pawprint she stacks up is the odd plastic bag from nuggets which we supplement her diet with. Wherever we can we buy these in polythene which can be recycled.

Oh, she does have an plastic indoor litter tray, but even that is an old plant tray!

As you can see, she provides endless entertainment, by flipping herself onto her back and looking cute. On the video you’ll notice we’ve also repurposed a rug that had seen better days.  Sunrise uses it to perform binkies to music (otherwise she would skid on the floorboards); which probably lowers our desire to watch mindless TV as well – so perhaps she saves us electricity into the bargain:


What about you – do your furry friends have a low carbon pawprint?


  1. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking on October 23, 2011 at 2:58 am

    Oh she is so adorable! I can see why she is so loved. That video is so cute. I love the way she runs all over that rug!!

  2. Mrs Green on November 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    @Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking: thanks Alicia; she’s certainly leapt into our hearts 🙂