Reducing your dogs carbon paw-print

Today is World Environmental Day. It is a day run by the United Nations and the aim is to ‘raise awareness of the environment and specific environmental issues’.

We regularly talk about reducing our own carbon footprint – for instance; using the car less, using eco-friendly shampoo, recycling more or even growing our own veg – but have you ever considered the carbon pawprint of our loyal furry companions?

Here are a few thoughts on how all the members of our family can become more eco-conscious.

Sustainable dog food.
At Naturediet, we pride ourselves in being eco-conscious.  In November 2018, we were proud to win the Pet Federation Industry award for Sustainability in recognition for our environmentally-friendly efforts.

Our packaging
Tetra Pak® is lightweight, super sturdy and strong. It is easy to open, serve, wash, squash and recycle.  The larger packs still contain 390g of food, but they are smaller and more compact than plastic trays meaning that they are easier to stack and store.  The shape and weight also give transport efficiency meaning less lorries on the road.  In addition to this, the cartons are made from sustainably sourced renewable materials.
Tetra Pak® cartons are collected by 92% of councils in the UK for recycling. For those areas where councils don’t offer roadside recycling, there is the option to take the packaging to a co-operative in certain areas of the country.  Tetra Pak® have invested heavily in recycling plants in the UK and continue to do so.

Our food
Naturediet is the only UK manufacturer Tetra Pak®. Whilst other dog food companies may use the same packaging, these are produced abroad and shipped to the UK.
Our wet foods are made in Norfolk, and we proactively source from local suppliers. Over 40% of our ingredients come from the Norfolk and Suffolk area where our factory is based, therefore reducing the road miles of the raw materials used in production.

Sustainability and being an environmentally conscious company come from more than just changing our packaging.  As a business, we have many initiatives that contribute in reducing our carbon footprint.
In addition to the packaging changes, we have also appointed Calor LPG to fuel our off-mains gas grid manufacturing operations in a bid to significantly cut energy costs and improve our factory’s environmental impact.  We have converted from kerosene to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).  These changes in fuel supply will reduce our CO2 emissions by more than 80 tonnes in the first 12 months.

Calor also supplied and installed six 4,000-litre tanks to provide gas to the steam and hot water boilers on our site, as well as a 2,000-litre tank to refuel the forklift trucks. A flue gas economiser on the facility’s steam boiler is also improving its thermal efficiency by 3.5%.

Recycling and upcycling for eco-friendly dog toys
Have you ever thought about making your own dog toys? It is a well known fact that playing with our dogs is one of the best ways to build a strong bond.  You don’t need to be a creative guru to make the most amazing entertainment for your dog.  A knotted old towel or blanket will make a great sturdy plaything. If you wanted to be a bit more creative, plait the towel and you can hide our tasty Feel Good treats inside for hours of fun!

Eco-friendly alternatives to plastic
For those things that you can’t make, recycle or upcycle, there are more environmentally friendly alternatives available. You can purchase Bamboo rather than plastic water or food bowl and there are eco-friendly biodegradable dog waste bags. A quick search on Google shows several reasonably priced options.

In an ideal world, it is best to not use plastic bags at all, as an eco friendly alternative, you could compost small amounts of dog waste. Not ideal if you have a small bin or large dog, plus you would need to be considerate of hygiene if you go down this route.  If you are a super keen gardener, however, you could consider a pet poop wormery or dog loo.  This blog post by Turning To Green explores many eco-friendly options for you and your dog.

Small changes make big differences, and these are just a few ideas on how you can help your whole family Feel Good on World Environment Day with Naturediet.