They’re part of the family and pretty cute to boot, but how does reducing your waste translate to the furriest members of your family? Taking your pets along for the zero-waste ride is just one of the areas covered in Erin Rhoads’ new book ‘Waste Not Everyday’ – a compendium of simple tips designed to help you take practical steps to reducing what you throw away. When it comes to pets, she has you covered from nose to paw – read this extract to the end for her recipe for natural, homemade flea spray for dogs that’ll have their tails wagging in no time!
- If you have pets like dogs or cats, they require a separate compost for their waste. Look up the Tumbleweed pet-poo-only compost or build your own.
- If you pick up after your dog three times a day, that’s 1095 plastic bags in landfill each year. Instead use old newspaper or a small pail and shovel to collect for your pet compost.
- Switch from store-bought silica-, clay- or sand-based kitty litter to dirt or sawdust that can be collected unpackaged and composted at home. There are also brands using recycled paper and walnut shell waste that can be used for other pets too.
- Check with your local pet store to see if they sell unpackaged pet food in bulk. If not, buying the biggest bag and reusing the packaging is the next best option.
- Ask the butcher for bones for your pets to chew on in a reusable bag or container.
- Make your own pet food. Visit your local library for books that teach you how or look online for recipes.
- Pet collars can get lost, so instead of the plastic options look for ones made of natural materials just in case.
- Choose pet toys made of natural materials like cotton, hemp and wool that will break down naturally in a home compost.
- Sprinkling bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) on pet bedding and airing it outside will help reduce its smell.
Flea spray for dogs
How to put it together
1. Boil equal parts lemon rind covered with water in a saucepan.
2. Simmer on low for 20 minutes, then cool, strain and transfer to a glass spray bottle.
3. Work onto dog’s coat and brush through.
THIS IS AN EDITED EXTRACT FROM ‘WASTE NOT EVERYDAY’ BY ERIN RHOADS, PUBLISHED BY HARDIE GRANT BOOKS AND AVAILABLE IN BOOK SHOPS NATIONALLY (RRP $19.99).