April 22 is Earth Day, a day for the world's communities to come together on a global scale to talk about climate change and the environmental future of our planet.
The year 2020 will see the 50th anniversary of Earth Day
and its mission of forging a vision of change to protect the environment for future generations, and that includes our pets
. But the health of our planet is not a concern for just for one day, it's an everyday priority.
Did you know besides the many ways we can reduce our own carbon footprints, we can also reduce our pets' carbon pawprints, too?
Here are some of my FiveSibesâ„¢ tips
on how we can all work together in joining the Earth Day Network
and help to make our environment safe and green for generations to come:
1. Walk This Way!
Why take a vehicle when you can go for a walk?
What a great way to protect the environment, while helping you and your dog to stay fit.
2. Recycle! Recycle! Recycle!
Stop before tossing those empty pet food cans into the trash
them instead. And when you're shopping for more, don't forget to use recyclable shopping bags instead of the store's plastic ones.
3. Up, Up, Upcycle and Away!
Have a favorite blanket and an old one-drawer wooden file cabinet you were thinking of tossing?
Well hold on to them! Wash, stuff, and sew the blanket; remodel, refinish (with non-toxic paint), and add some pretty trim to the file cabinet. And, voilÃ ! You've turned them into a comfy dog bed and snazzy indoor open kennel for your four-legged best friend!
Don't have a dog of your own?
Donate your new upcycled creations to a rescue or shelter for dogs in need!
4. A Cure for Pet Rx Bottles
Did you ever wonder what to do with those pet (and human) medication bottles?
Just check with your vet, pharmacist, and acupuncturist, as many will happily accept the empties.
5. Clean "Green"
You can be sure to clean green by using only chemical-free household supplies
, which are not only good for our environment, but best for the health of our pets and family, too.
When out walking your canine companions, do be sure to pick-up after them, and use biodegradable "doggy-do" bags.
7. Turn Down the Heat
When it's chilly out, turn down those thermostats! Our Earth and your pets will thank you for it (especially if you have Siberian Huskies, like I do)!
8. A Tree Remembered
Plant a tree in memory of a beloved pet.
9. Splishin' and a Splashin'
When emptying out your pet's water dish and splash pool
at the end of the day, don't just dump it, instead, use it to water flowers, shrubs, trees, and the grass!
10. Repurpose With a Purpose
Do you have a stash of old dog toys or torn dog beds just sitting and collecting dust in your attic (basement or garage)?
Instead of filling up a landfill, repurpose them by stitching up any tears, give a good wash, and then donate them to your local animal shelter.
11. Spay or Neuter Pets!
Please spay or neuter your pets to reduce the overpopulation of homeless animals in shelters.
Turn off your TVs, computers, and smart phones
and go outside to play with your pets or volunteer to play with some at a shelter. Not only will you save energy, you will be bringing joy to yourself and the animals!
While Earth Day is celebrated on the 22nd day of April each year, we should be thinking green each and every day.
There are so many ways in which we can help protect our planet for future generations.
Are you doing all you can to help reduce your pet's carbon pawprint?
Dorothy Wills-Raftery is an award-winning photojournalist and author of EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy
; the FiveSibesâ„¢ Tales children's books What's Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy
and Getting Healthy With Harley: Learning About Health & Fitness
; and Buddy, the Christmas Husky~Based On A True Holiday Miracle
books (ArcticHouse Publishing
), as well as the international FiveSibes blog
, based on the lives of her five Siberian Huskies. Her work has also appeared in American Pet Magazine
, Ruff Drafts
, The Sled Dogger
, and Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine
. Dorothy is the writer and host of "The Sibe Vibe" Dog Works Radio show
." Named "Best Author" in 2015 & 2016 by Hudson Valley Magazine
and all four books named "Best in Print" by American Pet Magazine,
Dorothy is a 5-time Dog Writers of America Association "Excellence" nominee, winning the prestigious Maxwell Medallion in 2016 for her writing. An official International Purple Day® for Epilepsy Ambassador since 2012 and a volunteer case manager for The Wally Foundation-Canine Epilepsy, Dorothy is the creator of the FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness
campaign inspired by her own epileptic Husky, Gibson. In addition to her Siberian Huskies, Dorothy shares her home with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and new grandson. You can follow Dorothy and her FiveSibes on Facebook at FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews
, on Google +
, and Instagram