4 Small Steps Towards Sustainability as a Dog Owner

1) Shop for longevity

 Switch your mindset from impulse buying, or buying something just because they're 'cute', and consider things like:

 How many times do I realistically see myself using this?

⋒ Is it a colour or pattern that will go out of style? 

⋒ Is it easy to clean?

 ⋒ Is it likely to break or wear out easily? if it does break, will I be able to fix it (or get it fixed) without too much trouble?

Ideally when we shop, we purchase items that will last a long time, can be used a lot without breaking or being ruined and won't go 'out of style' too quickly.

This way you won't need to throw things out and buy more as regularly, reducing your contribution to landfill and your consumption of fast fashion.

 Sometimes buying higher quality means the price is higher - but this is an investment!

Yes, in a lot of cases, you could buy something from a fast fashion chain (such as a certain 'mart' starting with the letter 'K'), but it probably won't last as long, meaning you'll be back before you know it to spend more money buying more...


2) If you don't use it, don't bin it! (Or at least consider this first).

 Is there something you've bought that doesn't fit anymore?

Consider whether it might fit someone else you know, or whether it could be donated to a shelter or charity.

 Is it a bit dirty or stained so you don't want to use it anymore?

 There are a bunch of people who might still appreciate an accessory that is fully functional, even if it has a mark or two on it.

 Of course, hygiene is important and you should always make sure you've done your best to clean an accessory thoroughly before passing it on, but a lot of rescue shelters will gladly take functional accessories off your hands, even if they aren't in perfect condition.

But if it really can't be passed onto anyone for a second shot at life, try recycling!

 Get creative! use some attachable patches to up-cycle tired accessories and make something new.

 Otherwise, there are more and more fabric and textile recyclers popping up all around Australia.

 A quick google search will tell you if there are any clothes recycling facilities near you, and you can go and drop off old accessories to be turned into new textiles!

Always make sure you check that everything you're donating is accepted by the recycler - you may need to cut off hardware before donating a harness, for example.

3) Avoid plastic WHENEVER POSSIBLE

This can be a hard one, especially when it comes to food packaging for dogs - but more and more brands are moving towards using recycled plastic and boxes for their food.

Even if your dog's food comes packaged in plastic, you can wash the soft plastics after you've used the food and recycle the plastic at your local supermarket! most Coles and Woollies stores have soft plastic recycling bins located at the front.

 You can also reduce your plastic use with treats - stock up with bigger bags of treats and then divide them into reusable containers rather than plastic zip lock bags.

 Avoid plastic poop bags - there are so many biodegradable and compostable options on the market, you've got plenty of options!

And lastly, accessories - materials like polyester and nylon are just PLASTIC in disguise. these materials still come from fossil fuels (oil) and are awful for our environment.

 Shop natural fibres and recycled materials wherever possible!


4) Ask for the change you want to see

Let your favourite brands know how much you care about our environment, and if your fave products come wrapped in plastic - or worse, are made with plastic :( - tell the brand that you'd prefer more sustainable options.

 It's easy at EVERY SIZE OF BUSINESS to make small conscious changes to be more sustainable, but unfortunately some businesses won't make the switch if they don't think their customers care.

So be vocal, be kind, and tell your favourite brands it's something that matters to you. even something as simple as changing their packaging can reduce their contribution to landfill significantly. Or by switching out a few materials they can make products more durable and long lasting, which is better quality for you and better business for them!