JoAnna Lou
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Avoiding Plastic
Making adjustments for the environment and our health
Stainless steel food bowl is one way to cut down on plastic.

This year, my New Year’s resolution isn’t to get back into shape or qualify for agility nationals, although they’re two things I am trying to do.

For 2010, I decided to keep it simple and reduce my dependence on plastic. Not only is it better for the environment, but as we’re increasingly finding, it’s better for our health, both human and canine.

Avoiding plastic isn’t easy, as I wrote about last year when I discovered that BPA is present even in canned food, but there are many easy switches we can make for our pups.

Food and Water Bowls
I’ve long used stainless steel bowls because they’re resistant to chewing and easy to clean. The Raise a Green Dog blog talks about the dangers of plastic and ceramic bowls, yet another reason to switch to stainless steel.

Food Storage
There are many plastic food storage options, but even if they’re made of food-safe materials, I’m still inclined to seek out a stainless steel version. The only option I’ve found that is big enough for a good amount of kibble is this version made by PetCo. I haven’t bought it yet because of the hefty price tag and the fact it’s endorsed by aversive trainer, Cesar Millan, but I haven’t found any good alternatives.

Poop Bags
So this doesn’t technically qualify as avoiding plastic, but currently I reuse the plastic bags my newspapers come in to pick up poop. I haven’t had to buy poop bags, but if I did, I’d consider biodegradable bags.

Shopping Bags
Using reusable bags has become very popular in recent years. It seems every store has their own version, however, PetCo and PetSmart’s versions raise money for animal-related charities.

Water Bottles
Filling stainless steel bottles with tap or filtered water will save you money while avoiding the potential risk of plastic. Recently, I even found a stainless steel bottle for pets. The roller ball mouth piece makes it perfect for travel.

These are just some small adjustments I’ve made to avoid plastic. I’d love to hear your tips and ideas!

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.


CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Carolyn | March 9 2010 |

I think this is so important. I survived breast cancer and my husband was recently diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic. We've always exercised, lived an active outdoor life and eaten healthy foods, mainly vegetarian. We'll never know what environmental factors triggered these illnesses but I have made a big effort to get as much plastic (and cleaning chemicals) as possible out of our lives.

Now I take the position that "you can't be too careful" and it is better for the environment anyway. With regard to our dog, you've mentioned everything that we do already ... although I've repurposed pyrex for her food bowls. They work fine, clean easily and are quite sturdy. A concern I would have, if she ate commercial foods, is plastic lining in the bags and/or cans. Don't know if all commercial kibbles use this, but many do.

Submitted by Lindsay | March 10 2010 |

Thanks for the great advice! I try to make day-to-day decisions that are beneficial to my health, but it's harder to do the same for my dog. I don't think there is enough emphasis placed on pet health and the dangers one could encounter. I'd like to feature a similar themed story on my blog BringYourOwnBone, sort of a "what to do/what not to do" guide. Any tips on where I can find more information?

Submitted by JanetteCopeland | May 15 2011 |

Some time before, I did need to buy a good car for my firm but I didn't have enough cash and couldn't buy something. Thank goodness my father proposed to get the business loans at reliable creditors. Therefore, I acted that and was satisfied with my auto loan.

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