Category Archives: Going Green

The Lazy Cat’s Guide to Living Green

New on Catster! They just published my Earth Day guide on the “Lazy Cat’s Guide to Living Green“. Let’s face it. Sometimes, it’s more work to be eco-friendly.

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With the Lazy Cat Guide, you’ll learn how to green your cat without having to do much work. It might even save you some effort!

What are you waiting for? Go check it out for eco-friendly and easy tips. Have a Happy Earth Day!

Image courtesy: The Perch

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Make a Green New Year’s Resolution for 2014

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Happy New Year’s! It’s time to make a green resolution for 2014. I haven’t done this in awhile, not since my original 30-Day Green Cat Challenge, where I challenged myself and readers to do one thing every day for 30 days to make their cats’ lives just a little bit more eco-friendly.

Here are my new year’s resolutions for 2014. They also include people resolutions, not just ones for cats because everyone (and every animal) benefits when we work together to improve the planet.

My 5 Green New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

  1. Use less water.
  2. Buy in bulk to reduce the number of trips I make to the store.
  3. Wash (with as little water as possible) and recycle all cat food lids and tins, even when I don’t feel like it!
  4. Try to use even less litter in Furball’s litter box, meaning I need to scoop a little bit more often.
  5. Feature more green cat products on my blog.

What green resolutions will you make this year for yourself and your cats?

 

How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Pets

NPR

I was invited a few weeks ago to participate as a panelist on NPR’s City Vision show on 91.7 KALW. The show was about how to reduce the carbon footprint of pets. During the show, there were some interesting facts presented about pets and their impact on the planet.  One of the panelists shared that the pet carbon footprint is negligible compared to what we do as people.

While this is undoubtedly true, given the number of people vs. pets, I advocated that making small changes for our pets does add up.  And, if we can encourage people to green wherever possible, I say, “Go for it!”

You’re welcome to tune into the show recording here:  How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Pets

The show and presenters were quite academic and then all of a sudden, I come on and talk about how to make cat toys out of toilet paper! :)

It was a good metaphor for my blog.  I’m all about easy, simple changes to green your cat vs. overloading people with environmental numbers and facts.  If there was one thing I learned while working at World Wildlife Fund, it’s that you can accomplish a lot more for the environment by working within people’s everyday lives and making going green accessible to all.

 

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Cat Owners Can Go Green Too

Received a great guest post from Becky and wanted to share! Enjoy!

If you are a cat owner, you can go green to help protect the environment and do your part at making a difference. Going green can help to reduce pollution, improve air quality, and even help you to save money on your bills. You can go green for yourself and for that lovable little cat of yours.

Recycle Products for Cat Toys

You can recycle products around the home and turn them into cat toys. For example, you may have recently received a large package in a cardboard box from FedEx or UPS. Instead of throwing it out, you can create your own little sanctuary for your cat. It may not last forever since it is only cardboard, but for the time being, it will still be fun for your cat. You can do the same with many other things that you have around the home, including old yarn.

Buy Vita-Greens for Your Cat

Vita-Greens offer you the opportunity to grow organic greens for your cat. These greens are good for your cat because the help cats digest their food properly while also helping to reduce the number of hairballs your cat suffers from. The Vita-Greens products are completely organic and are easy to find in local pet stores.

Create Your Own Kitty Litter

Why spend tons of money each month on store-bought kitty litter when you can make your own with recycled newspaper. Not only are you saving money, you are using items that you already had and recycling them for another purpose. If you regularly read the newspaper and receive magazines, this is a great opportunity for you to take the pages of the paper and magazines, shred them up, and turn them into comfortable kitty little for your four-legged furry friend.

Knit a Blanket for Your Cat

It may sound ridiculous, but you can buy or knit a blanket for your cat to help keep him or her warm during the winter month. The fur that your cat has likely already keeps it warm, but a warm blanket can provide additional warmth, especially so that you can keep your thermostat a little lower during the winter month. You can cut the cost of your energy bill without compromising the comfort of your cat. You can also check for other energy saving tips that can benefit both you and your cat at websites like www.Albertaenergyproviders.com.

Give Your Cat Filtered Water

No matter where you live, whether you are in the United States, Canada, or another country across the globe, you can easily save a lot of money by using a faucet water filter instead of buying bottled water. When you buy bottled water, you are wasting money on something you could basically get in your home and there is a lot of plastic being wasted as well. You can give your cat filtered water from the faucet and eliminate all of those water bottles that you used to use. Your cat will still graciously enjoy the water you provide to it.

As a cat owner, even the littlest of things can make a difference with the process of going green. Recycling is a major component of going green, especially when you are a cat owner and need kitty litter. Following just a few green tips can make all the difference for you and your cat.

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Where to Recycle Stuff

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I always find that the new year is the perfect time for reflection and new beginnings. In fact, it was on New Year’s Day 2009 that I decided to make a gift to the planet by challenging myself to find one new way each day for 30 days to make my cat’s lifestyle just a little bit greener.

The kick-off of my 30-Day Green Cat Challenge really helped to launch GreenLittleCat.com and promote greener living for cats and cat lovers around the world.  This year, I wanted to share some of my favourite ways to help you de-clutter your home and welcome 2012 with fresh and open energy.

While this list for where to give away and recycle stuff is mainly geared for us humans, I hope you’ll find it useful for starting your new year off on a green foot.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Your Stuff Here:

1. Cat Food

  • If the food hasn’t expired and hasn’t been opened, do a web search for a “pet food bank” in your town or city.  They’ve been popping up all over the country in recent years as people ride out the economic shifts.
  • If you have a large bag of opened dry food that your cat won’t eat, that’s a little trickier to give away. Many people would recommend not giving it away, but there are people out there who don’t have the money to feed their cats and would welcome the food. If you do decide to give the food away, there always seems to be someone on Craigslist who will gladly take just about anything you have to give away.

2. Old Towels and Blankets

  • Contact your local animal shelter to donate your old towels and blankets.  They’ll use them as bedding or to wrap animals up to keep them warm and comfortable.

 3. Where to Donate Used Books

  • Some libraries will accept used books.
  • If you have paperbacks, try posting them on PaperBackSwap.com.  It’s like a giant online book swap meet.
  • Gently used books for young children are welcomed by Project Night Night, which gives books, blankets and stuffed animals to homeless children.
  • Women’s shelters that support families are also a good place to donate books for kids of all ages.

4. Old DVDs and CDs

  • SwapaCD and SwapaDVD are sister sites for PaperBackSwap.com.
  • Children’s DVDs can be donated to Kid Flicks.  They’ll take the DVDs that your kids have outgrown to creates movie libraries for children’s hospitals and pediatric wards across the U.S.

5. Stuffed Animals

  • While we’re on the topic of kid’s stuff, gently used stuffed animals can be given to Stuffed Animals For Emergencies (SAFE).  SAFE gives your stuffed animals to children during emergency situations such as fires, illness, accidents, neglect, abuse, homelessness and even weather emergencies.  They’ll take your baby blankets too.
  • A local women’s shelter may also be a good place to donate stuffed animals.  I was making a donation of household goods and had a bag of stuffed animals in my car to drop off at Goodwill.  When the women’s shelter worker saw the stuffed animals, she was so happy to scoop them up and told me that they give them to children and to rape victims to help comfort them.

 6. Where to Recycle Cell Phones and MP3 Players

  • Target stores have recycling stations for used cell phones and MP3 players.  They’ll also take your inkjet cartridges, but I like taking mine to Staples (see below).

7. What to Do With Your Used Inkjet Cartridges

  • Inkjet cartridges are worth money to you if you take them to your local Staples store.  When you join their rewards program, Staples will give you 2 Staples rewards dollars for each inkjet cartridge you bring in (up to a maximum of 10 cartridges a month).

8. Where to Recycle Used Brita Filters and Number 5 Plastics

  • Look for a “Preserve” recycling bin at any Whole Foods to drop off your Brita filters and number 5 plastics.

9. Produce from Your Backyard

  • When your friends and relatives start crying, “No, thank you” to that second bag of tomatoes, check out AmpleHarvest.org to get connected with a local food bank in search of fresh produce.
  • In Northern California, if you’ve got fruit trees, Village Harvest will send out volunteers to pick your trees and will donate any excess fruit that you don’t want.

10. Office and School Supplies

  • iLoveSchools.com has a donor board where you can post books, computers and home office equipment, electronics, and office supplies.  Teachers login to the site and check the board for stuff they can use in their classrooms.

11. Odds and Ends

  • Freecycle.org is my go to place for giving away stuff I no longer need (e.g. IKEA lamps, extra tealight candles, tire chains, etc.).  They have local chapters so you know that people aren’t driving 50 miles to pick up your 5 issues of Bicycling magazine.
  • Here are a couple Freecycle tips:  First, give your stuff to the person who writes a friendly and articulate email to you, not the first person to say, “I want it.”  The polite people are the ones who show up on time to pick up your stuff.  Second, leave the stuff outside of your door with a note on it so that people can pick it up at their convenience (and yours too).
  • If no one on Freecycle wants your cat drinking fountain, there’s always Craigslist!

So, there you have my best recycling, give away and donation suggestions for 2012.  You’re ready to start your clean sweep for the new year!

Wishing you a happy, healthy and abundant 2012,

Holly and Furball

5 Great Reasons to Use Less Cat Litter

Recycle, reduce and reuse are the buzzwords for the mainstream environmental movement.  People definitely have gotten the recycle aspect down.  Reusing is starting to pick up steam too.  But, what about REDUCE?  For years, it seemed this humble verb was reduced to being a mere sidekick to the sexier “recycle”.  It took a global recession to bring “reduce” back to the forefront.   So with that lead-up, I’ll give you 5 great reasons to use less cat litter.

1. The cat box is easier to clean.

When I was trying to toilet train Furball, I made an unexpected discovery.  During the training process, I had to train Furball to use a shallow litter pan that fit inside the toilet seat.  Because the pan was so shallow, it could only hold about a cup of cat litter in it.

I was somewhat dreading to see what the bathroom would look like after Furball used the shallow tray.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did he use the tray, the bathroom was actually quite clean.  Because there was so little litter, he didn’t bother scattering it around everywhere.  He hardly tracked any litter so I didn’t have to sweep up as often.  As well, his poop sat right on top, which made it very easy to dump out.  And, when it was time to clean the tray, I could simply pour out the entire contents without sifting through it.  This leads me to my next point.

2. Your litter box will be less stinky.

This sounds counterintuitive because it’s been drummed into our way of thinking that you need to use more litter to keep odors down.  At least, that’s what the box/bag of litter says.  Who benefits from us using more cat litter?  The cat litter company.

When you use less litter, it’s soooo much easier to clean that you can clean more often with less effort.  Hence, the less stinky box.

3. You’ll save money.

Eco-friendly and natural litters cost more, but if you use less, then your annual litter costs can actually go down.  For example, now that Furball uses less litter, I pay less than $75/year for his litter.  Not bad, considering that he uses organic wheatgrass litter.

4. It’s more convenient.

It was a pain in the butt to haul 40lb bags of cat litter from the pet store in a Mini Cooper.  Then, the litter had to be lugged up three flights of stairs and stacked in a very conspicuous corner in the bathroom.  Uh, let’s just say there was more cat litter than bathroom in the bathroom.  Because we use less litter now, the tiny 20lb bag fits neatly under the sink and I can make fewer trips to the store to stock up.

5. It’s really good for the environment.

Add up how much litter you use a year.  I’d wager that if you’re using a common litter (e.g., clay-yikes hopefully not, wheat, pine, recycled paper)  you’re going through over 100 lbs a year, and quite possibly up in the 200 to 300 lb range.  If you’re using corn, pat yourself on the back for its light weight.

Did you know that there are over 80 million cats in the United States alone?  Even if only half of these cats were using cat litter, that’s a lot of litter going into landfill sites.  I did the math once and it worked out to billions of pounds.

If you used just one less scoop of litter per cat per week, that could add up to 10 lbs of litter a year.  Now, multiply that by the number of cats.  If everyone cut down by just one sccop a week, 800 million pounds of cat litter per year would be diverted from going into landfills and being manufactured in the first place.

Cat Dandruff – 3 Easy Ways To Cure Cat Dandruff At Home Without Spending A Fortune At The Vet

If cat dandruff or cat dander is an issue in your household, especially with the drier winter weather, you might be interested in this article I found on “3 Easy Ways to Cure Cat Dandruff at Home”.  Furball is a black cat and he does get a little cat dandruff (or is it dander???) every now and then.  I read this article and a few of the points hit the nail on the head.  Furball was a bit overweight when he had dandruff/dander on his rump, and he certainly could use some omega 3 fatty acids added to his diet. Anyway, here’s a reprint of the article on how to help cats with dandruff.  (Reprinted with permission by ezinearticles).

Cat Dandruff – 3 Easy Ways To Cure Cat Dandruff At Home Without Spending A Fortune At The Vet

As a frequent visitor to pet forums, a topic that comes up way too regularly is that of cat dandruff. It’s a problem that affects most of us cat owners, and if you own a cat, it’s a matter of time before you have to deal with it. If you own a black cat, you have my utmost sympathies…

But fear not, there is a home remedy for cat dandruff that you can try without spending an expensive trip to the vet, just by observing the symptoms and environment and taking action based on these symptoms.

Most cat dandruff issues are invariably linked to 3 factors:

An aged or overweight cat with dandruff on her rump or tail

If you have a cat that is overweight or a cat with sudden weight gain and dandruff on her rump and tail, it’s a sure sign that she’s unable to reach these areas to clean herself. This is also a problem for aged cats that lack the mobility to groom themselves.

A good brushing would help in this case and it might be a good idea to groom your cat every couple of months. If you are able to bathe your cat without getting yourself scratched too badly in the process, then it would an excellent idea to do this every couple of months. But if you do so, avoid using human shampoos as that might dry her skin further and exacerbate the condition. If you must, use a cat shampoo and remember to wash thoroughly as excess shampoo stuck on her undercoat will only make matters worse.

It’s winter If your cat only experiences dandruff issues in winter, then it could be the result of the cold and dry weather. Worse of all, most cats like to laze about in the warm comforts of the fireplace, which rapidly dries her skin causing it to flake.

Simply move her away from the fireplace every once in a while and observe if the problem persists. Getting a good humidifier would be an excellent idea, both for your feline friend and also yourself (humans get dry skin too…)

My cat is neither fat nor old, and neither is it winter now! Help! Relax…if none of the above apply, just think, have you bought any new furniture lately? A new carpet perhaps? Check if there are any changes to her environment that she might be sensitive to and try to make the necessary adjustments.

If this doesn’t help, then it’s most likely a diet issue. You see, cats hate water and most wouldn’t go near it even when they’re thirsty. The only way our feline friends get their water requirement is through the moisture content of their cat food. Problem is, most of us go for cheap dry cat food that do not contain enough moisture content, hence causing her skin to dry and flake.

Make a change to high quality canned food and add some fish oil to her diet and you’ll see results in no time!

Darren Chan’s research has made him an expert in cat related issues. He is the webmaster of Cat Dandruff Away – A Step by Step Guide to Cure Cat Dandruff. Sign up now for a complimentary copy of Pamper Your Cat – 100 Recipes For Your Feline Friend ebook worth $11.97, for a Limited Period only!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Darren_Chan

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Furball Reviews the Amazing Treat Machine Rollers

Just what on earth is an Amazing Treat Machine Roller, you may ask? Well, it’s an interactive cat toy that automatically rewards your cat with treats or the smell of catnip. This cat toy is also eco-friendly. It’s made from cardboard that contains 30% post-consumer recycled content, comes with an organic catnip “teabag” and once your cat has completely destroyed the roller (which will take some time, since it’s quite durable), you can simply toss it into the recycling bin.

It’s too difficult to adequately describe with words what the Amazing Treat Machine Roller looks like, so here’s a video review by Furball. From the human perspective, the rollers were amazing fun to put together, beautifully designed and quite a delight. In the video below, Furball is reviewing an Amazing Treat Machine Roller with the enclosed catnip “teabag” inside.

Thanks to our friends at Amazing Treat Machine for sending us this cat toy to review.

My Fuzzy Valentine – Gift Ideas for Your Beloved Cat

ImperialCatlovebugAdmittedly since the arrival of the baby, poor spoiled Furball has been relegated to the status of cat in the household.  No longer is he the only child, pampered and petted with all of his idiosyncracies embraced wholeheartedly (eg. whining for 2 hours in the morning beginning at 6am).  Perhaps your feline companion has not met this unfortunate fate and you’re looking for the purrfect Valentine’s Day gift.

If that’s the case, you may be interested in Imperial Cat’s new Valentine’s Day eco-friendly cat scratchers. They’ve just released three new cutesy pink designs including a classic “hugs and kisses” X & O print, a confetti design exploding in hearts and a candy stripe pattern. They’ve also added the Love Bug to their Scratch ‘n Shape line.

Scratch ‘n Shapes are made in the USA, from 100% post consumer recycled materials, and are 100% recyclable. The scratchers feature a honeycomb texture and also come with a bag of Certified Organic Catnip.

To find a retailer, visit the Imperial Cat website at: www.ImperialCat.com.

Trinket-Free Holiday Gift Idea for Cat Lovers

Last year, I wrote a post on the most un-eco-friendly cat products for 2009.  Not surprisingly, in my research, I found a plethora of crap available as gifts for cat lovers.  Just because someone loves cats, this doesn’t mean they love ugly cheap trinkets made in China.

I came across a great gift idea for cat lovers and pet lovers in general.  While the product itself is not green per se, the idea of giving a gift that someone will actually keep and cherish forever is.  So, what’s this great gift idea?  It’s a photo book from Mixbook.

Mixbook recently gave me the opportunity to review their photo books.  At first, I thought it was an odd item to offer to someone who writes a blog about eco-friendly ideas for CATS.  However, I’d always wanted to create a photo book of Furball and realized that there are probably a lot of other pet owners who’d love a personalized photo book of their pet.  So, I decided to give Mixbook a try and wanted to share my experience with you.

On the whole, I’d have to say I found the process of creating a Mixbook photo book to be a delight.  I don’t throw the word “delight” out easily. I’m a user experience designer by trade, so if a website doesn’t work well, I’m highly critical of it.  I’ve made photo books in the past and have used five or six different photo sites previously, so I was not expecting much.  I was genuinely surpised at how fun and easy it was to create a Mixbook.

Sometimes it’s overwhelming to get started, but Mixbook offers a wide selection of templates covering occasions and topics (including pets) to get you started.  Where other photo sites fall short, is that once you head down the template route, you’re stuck with whatever’s in the template.  Not so for Mixbook.  You can really mix it up.  Delete pages, pick from dozens of different layouts, change the background, add stickers, etc.  It’s like digital scrapbooking.  And the designs are fun and cute too!

So, if you’re stuck for a last minute gift for the cat lover in your life, consider a Mixbook.  They offer gift cards and most of their photo books are around $15 to $30.  If you’d like to make one for your own cat, Mixbook has a deal on their website for 25% off and delivery by the 24th.

If the holidays have you too busy to make a photo book now, Mixbook gave me a coupon code to save 20% off and there’s no expiration date on it.

To purchase a gift card, visit their website at: www.mixbook.com/gift-cards

The promo code to save 20% off is: GCATMIX20

Have fun and happy holidays!

P.S. I figure if they can turnaround a photo book and ship it to you in a few days, then it must be printed in the USA, so that’s eco-friendly.

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Green Little Cat is the only blog that's all about eco-friendly ideas for cats and cat lovers. This blog is a labor of love, created by Holly Tse, author of Make Your Own Cat Toys.
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