Reduce your Pet's Carbon Paw Print

Woman holding her dog

Unless you live in the woods it’s almost impossible for your dog to do what comes naturally without creating plastic waste. But here are some ways you can reduce it. 

First, beware of greenwashing. Many poop bags are marked “Green” because they’re compostable or biodegradable. The truth is, your dog’s poop is headed for landfill. It’s too toxic to compost. So the bags you use and what’s in them will biodegrade and emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas. This is not green or good.

The greenest bags for dog waste are those made from recycled plastic. They won’t biodegrade in landfill, and they play a positive role in recycling plastics. Plastics can only be down-cycled. So poop bags are a great way to ensure that more plastic is reused.  It also provides a better alternative to virgin plastic bags, which are made from new plastic. The carbon footprint of recycled plastic is far less than virgin. 

 That being said, they pose all the environmental hazards of any plastic bag and should be disposed of responsibly so they don’t end up littering landscapes and waterways. 

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GreenPolly poop bags are made of 80-90% post-consumer recycled plastic and 10-20% plastic made from sugarcane. If your dog’s poo is headed for landfill this is a good bag to use. 

Using recycled plastic contributes to a recycle economy and has a much smaller carbon footprint than virgin plastic. The bags won’t decompose in landfill and emit methane.

As noted above, compostable bags sound green, but pet waste cannot be added to compost. The bag and the waste will decompose in landfill and emit methane which is a potent greenhouse gas.

Paw Inspired pee pads are the greenest, by far. They are machine washable and can be used over and over again. Instead of buying disposable pads – save money and reduce your pup’s carbon footprint at the same time. 

The top layer quickly and fully absorbs whatever your pet leaves behind, and the under layer is leakproof to protect your flooring or crate. These hold up well and can be washed hundreds of times. I’ve used the same pads for years and they’re still in great shape. After machine washing, hang them to dry.

I also use them in my dog’s car carrier and under her bowls. They come in gray and beige, in a range of sizes. The extra large sizes can be used to protect your car seat or couch.

Pogi’s disposable pee pads which are more eco-friendly than most. They come in three sizes: medium, large, and extra large

The top layer is made from bamboo with an ultra-absorbent layer under it, made from certified sustainable pine. According to Pogi’s, the leak-proof protective under layer is a “bio-hybrid” combination of plastic and organic material.

Pogi’s have a slight honey scent that’s appealing to dogs. So these work well in crates, too. 

Four Paws Eco Wee Wee Pads

Four Paws Eco Pads have a leakproof liner that is made from 50% recycled material. The absorbent upper layers are free of bleach and dye. Your dog will probably enjoy the light grass scent, and you’ll appreciate the 24 hour leakproof protection which is guaranteed.

They come in one large size.