November 10, 2009

In addition to prioritizing the health of our individual pets, we can also include a focus on the environment at large when making daily choices. Here are seven tips for acting globally, which benefit our animal companions, too.

1. Refrain from using chemicals in your yard. Chemicals can adversely affect your pet’s health and have a detrimental effect on wildlife, too. A wonderful alternative is to introduce natural predators to the bugs you want to eliminate. You can purchase beneficial (predator insects to release in your yard or encourage them in the following ways:

  • Plant a variety of flowering plants, especially ones with small flowers rich in nectar. Mix up your plants so hose that attract beneficial insects are nearby those that need protection.
  • Place plants close together to provide a moist, shaded environment for beneficial insects who dehydrate easily.
  • Provide a source of water for beneficial insects by putting out a shallow dish of water with stones to allow them places to dry. Keep your soil healthy by adding compost to allow soil organisms to thrive.

2. Try to conserve water when preparing our foods. Run the tap for as short a time as possible to warm the water, or better still – re-use the water used to cook your own veggies, to hydrate your Honest Kitchen food. It is packed with vitamins!

3. Wash your dog less. Over shampooing can dry your companion’s skin excessively, contributing to itchiness. Less frequent washing will help to maintain the natural oils in the skin, keep the pH in balance and also conserve water at the same time.

4. Recycle or re-use packaging wherever possible. Old buckets may be donated to local schools or others who could use them for storage.

5. Turn down the thermostat on your freezer by a degree or two if you can. Many households operate their freezers and refrigerators on the coldest possible setting. Often the temperature can be raised slightly without any detrimental effects – helping to reduce electricity usage quite significantly.

The same goes for household heating and cooling.Your dog’s health & skin condition will be better without extreme heat and air conditioning, and moving the thermostat 3 degrees down in winter and up in summer can prevent the emission of nearly 1100 lbs of carbon dioxide per household, annually.

6. Plant your own herbs. An herb garden can be as simple as a few select species in a window box. Having your own botanicals on hand might help eliminate the need for chemical preparations (aloe and calendula are great for cuts and scrapes; parsley helps digestion and lavender can be dried and used as a natural relaxant). Living herbs produce oxygen which helps to cancel out some of the carbon dioxide we all emit into the environment.

7. Choose natural household cleaners and detergents for your dog’s bedding (as well as your own laundry!). Reducing the chemicals in your companion’s immediate living space can help to combat contact allergies when he sleeps on surfaces that have been cleaned with chemical products. Itchy feet and a red belly can be a sign that something is aggravating your pet.

We’re doing a few things at The Honest Kitchen’s corporate office to make our company a little greener:

  • Ordering fair-trade, organically grown tea and coffee
  • Replacing existing light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs
  • Using solar powered lights in our outdoor areas.
  • Choosing energy efficient appliances such as printers and faxes.
  • Recycle, Recycle, Recycle.
  • Honest Kitchen office staff are members of Community Supported Agriculture, where our corporate team received boxes of locally grown organic produce weekly.