Reducing our carbon footprint is essential if we want to reduce the effects of global warming, but it’s not always easy to make the necessary changes to our lifestyles. There are so many components to being eco-friendly, from the cars we drive (or don’t drive) to the foods we eat, and getting everyone in your family on board with major changes can be difficult. When you are a pet owner, there are some added considerations to make that include keeping certain items out of landfills and buying supplies through the second-hand economy.

You can also reduce the amount of emissions your home and car put out by using less energy and taking a bike or walking when the destination isn’t too far away. This is an especially great way for dog owners to get in some exercise and bonding time. Gardening is another wonderful way to be more eco-friendly if you can plant items that you and your pet love to eat. Carrots and spinach are healthy items to mix with shredded chicken and oats for a natural dog food that won’t break the bank or necessitate emissions from delivery trucks.

Read on for some great tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint as a pet owner.

Participate in the second-hand economy

The second-hand economy is something more and more Americans are taking an interest in these days, as it can not only save money, it can actually help to earn it. For those who aren’t in the know, the second-hand economy is a multi-billion dollar sub-industry which helps reduce waste from landfills and brings communities together, according to Gumtree. Any time you sell, swap, buy or donate a used item, you’re part of the second-hand economy. By using this as a means to buy and sell items, rather than buying new or throwing away things that still have some life in them, you’re helping the environment. This can apply to your pet as well. Toys, collars, and pet clothing are great examples.

Take a walk

Walking or riding a bike are both excellent ways to reduce your carbon footprint, since vehicles are a major contributor to the effects of global warming. When you have a pet, taking the time to walk to the park instead of driving is a great way to be eco-friendly and stay fit and healthy at the same time. Look for other ways you can reduce emissions when it comes to your pet, such as making his food or buying his necessities at a local store rather than ordering online and having them shipped to you.

Grow your own food

Growing your own food has many benefits; not only does it help you stay healthy, it also allows you to save money and remain eco-friendly for both yourself and your pet. While it can’t be helped that dogs eat meat — which is a big contributor to greenhouse gases — you can supplement his fresh diet with spinach, carrots, and other pet-safe veggies that you grow in your garden. Do some research online to find the best vegetable plants for your region to ensure they’ll grow easily.

Spay or neuter your pet

Controlling animal populations is so essential these days, as there are millions of stray cats and dogs in cities across America, either living on the street or stuck in a shelter that will eventually have to make hard decisions about whether to keep unwanted animals. Spaying or neutering your pet will help to keep the population in control where you live and can eventually help reduce greenhouse gases.

Reducing your carbon footprint when you’re a pet owner can take some thought; there may be several things you and your pet do that can be changed slightly in order to make a big difference when it comes to the environment. Think of the best ways to be more eco-friendly with your pet and get the entire family involved.