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7 Easy Ways to Go Green as a Pet Owner

I know, I lost track of my days as well! It's been a while since I've added an article to my blog, but with Earth Day coming tomorrow I just have to! And what's more, with this global pandemic, it's never been more critical to reduce our footprint and better enjoy our environment as responsible dog parents. Even despite some upsets in our national climate, how can we contribute to a better overall climate and healthier world? Here's my top 7 ideas for you as you spend more time than ever with your pets... and one bonus idea, just for kicks! Originally featured in the Flagstaff Sedona Dog magazine, I hope you enjoy!

Living in the Flagstaff and Sedona area, we enjoy incredible year-round climate and breathtaking vistas. With pristine red rocks, dark skies, and predominantly beautiful sunny days, this area is unlike any other. An easy way to celebrate: join one of the Earth Day festivities within these local communities!

Earth Day is an annual event focused on environmental protection and sustainability. Since 1970, Earth Day has become a global movement to create awareness around and celebrate our planet’s environment.

This year, the Arizona Sustainability Alliance has announced an expansion to Earth Day on April 22nd. Earth Month will include various events throughout the Verde Valley focused on clean air, land, and water. You can list your own event, or find some of the local sustainable fun, online at With these events quickly approaching, now is a great time to consider the “footprint” you and your dog are leaving! Living with pets comes with unique environmental concerns. Here’s a few ideas for things you can do to observe Earth Day with your furry family members:

  1. Take a walk. Whenever possible, this is the perfect region in which you can enjoy a stroll with your dog above a car ride. With countless hiking trails and friendly dog parks nearby, this is the perfect place for you to enjoy the outdoors with your pet!

  2. Adopt. Adoption is the easiest way to practice the concept of “recycling” – consider the adoptable pets at local humane societies and rescue organizations before paying for a pet from a breeder. Better yet, consider volunteering at one of these organizations to help them walk, care for, and rehome their animals!

  3. Spay or Neuter your Animals. You can help protect the environment and improve animal welfare in our communities by ensuring that our area is not overpopulated by strays. This reduces the amount of pets that are euthanized every year and minimizes our overall carbon footprint.

  4. Use Biodegradable Poop Bags. Cleaning up after your pet is important, especially in some of the public lands we enjoy here in Northern Arizona. This Earth Month investigate the option of biodegradable bags, or save the old plastic bags you would otherwise toss, in order to reduce the impact on the earth from other plastics.

  5. Buy in Bulk. When purchasing food, treats, or other supplies for your furry family members, buying in bulk is both a cost savings to you and a benefit to this planet. Minimize packaging and other contaminants by buying in bulk from your local pet supply stores.

  6. Donate Old Supplies and Unused Food. Did I mention how many awesome nonprofit organizations we have in our community? If you have toys, blankets, or other treats that your pet no longer needs, drop them off at an animal shelter or rescue. These places care for large numbers of animals and rely on donations to make their facilities more comfortable for the adoptable dogs and cats.

  7. Check Your Household Products. As a local business owner, I recently investigated my footprint as both a business and consumer. Using green cleaning products and recycling my household goods is important to my dog’s health as well as to this planet.

  8. (BONUS!) Spread the Word. Organizations such as the Sustainability Alliance are doing incredible things to clean up our communities and contribute to the lifespan of our world. This Earth Month, check out one of the events listed online or consider devoting a day in April to checking some of these things off your list! Talk to your friends and family and get them on board to do the same!

These are just some of the ways that pet owners may decrease their impact on the planet. Use this month to inspire the pet owners in your world to live in more earth-friendly ways throughout the year. Respect this world and enjoy it for the years to come!

Kristy Meyers is the owner and photographer for Penny Lane Photography, where she specializes in pets, portraits, and more. Kristy’s premiere pet photography beautifully captures the bond between human and their beloved pet. You can find her portfolio and more about her on Facebook, Instagram, or online at

As a Bronze-Certified Sustainable business, Kristy Meyers maintains is locally focused and energy-efficient. For information on sustainable businesses, or for more on Earth Month, check out the sustainability alliance online at

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