Why go green?Eco-friendly products aren’t just for humans. In fact, harmful chemicals like lead and arsenic may actually be easier to find in toys for pets because, while there are limits on these chemicals for children’s toys, no such standards are set for animals toys, according to HealthyStuff.org, a Web site run by nonprofit environmental group The Ecology Center.
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Pet Products TodayNearly half of all pet products contain one or more hazardous chemicals, according to a recent study by HealthyStuff, which tested more than 400 beds, chew toys, stuffed toys, collars, leashes and other pet products. A quarter of all items studied contained detectable levels of lead, a potentially hazardous substance at the center of many recent recalls of children’s products.
But to protect the health of your furry or feathered friend, there are plenty of all-natural, sustainable and chemical-free pet products out there. After all, if you buy green products for your own health and concern for the planet, why not buy more sustainable products for your pets as well?
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Wagging GreenPet products maker Wagging Green makes collars, T-shirts, harnesses, dog tags and leashes made with dye-free organic bamboo fibers that are naturally anti-bacterial, fast drying and odor resistant, the company says. Bamboo grows quickly, so it’s an easily renewable resource. Products made with its fibers are also biodegradable.
Price: Collars go for about $11.99, and a dog harness costs $29.99 on WaggingGreen.com.
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Pet BedsPoochPlanet and SmartyKat beds made by consumer products company Worldwise are made of EcoRest recycled bedding fiberfill, which is made mostly from recycled one-liter plastic bottles.
In 2009 alone, those pet beds helped reduced the number of recycled plastic bottles going into landfills by about 30 million, the company says.
Price: $10 to $40 Wal-Mart (Stock Quote: WMT), Sam’s Club, Publix (Stock Quote: PUSH), Kroger (Stock Quote: KR), Meijer and other leading retailers.
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Rubber Pet PlacematsRecycled rubber has been used for years outdoors at playgrounds, but now they can be used for sloppy dogs and eager cats can who make a mess of the floor around their food bowls.
ORE Originals makes recycled rubber placemats for pets that come in various cute cat and dog themes.
Price: $10-$14 at OREoriginals.com.
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Eco-Friendly Dog ClothesReknitz clothes made from pre-consumer cotton scraps left over from the textile industry are made into eco-friendly sweaters for dogs. Retailers say that each sweater saves water and prevents the use of additional fertilizers, insecticides, dyes and even land required to grow new cotton.
Price: $32 at ShopGreenPets.com
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World’s Best Cat LitterKicked-up dust and litter tracked all over the floor are seemingly inevitable in cat-owning households, but World’s Best Cat Litter is made from porous, odor-trapping whole-kernel corn, so there’s no dust. It’s biodegradable and even flushable, the company says.
Price: About $9 for a seven-pound bag at Petco.com. Available at other online retailers and pet supply stores.
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Cat GenieKitty litter is made of strip-mined http://www.osmre.gov/aboutus/Aboutus.shtm clay obtained from land that’s first stripped of its natural soil, trees and animal habitats, and the Cat Genie eliminates the need for further environmental damage entirely.
It’s a litter box that uses clean permanent granules that are dust free and never need changing. And one Cat Genie is enough for two or three cats, according to manufacturer PetNovations.
Price: Complete kits with a cat box, granules and cleaning cartridges start at $299.
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Cat SeatPerhaps the best option for those tired of cleaning the litter box is the Cat Seat, a device cat owners can use to actually toilet-train their cats. This eliminates the need for a litter box entirely. First, you can teach your cat to use the seat right on the floor. Later, you can mount it to your toilet and avoid using strip-mined and even corn-based kitty litter.
Price: $59.95 at catseat.com.
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Natural Birdcage CleanerCleaning up a birdcage can be a daunting task, but Avitech’s Aviclean no-rinse cage and aviary cleaner could make your work a bit easier. These cleaning solutions are made with natural essential oils from plants and can remove droppings, caked-on foods and stains. It’s biodegradable and safe enough that you can leave your bird in its cage while you’re cleaning, and it’s less corrosive than water, the company says.
Price: About $12 for a 32-ounce spray bottle.
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Natural Food for Little CrittersThere’s plenty of healthy and natural dog and cat food and snacks that may even be good enough for human consumption, but what about good food for a beloved bunny or a guinea pig? Organic BeneTerra foods made by Oxbow Animal Health contain organic hay, fruits and vegetables that a rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, gerbil or other little fur ball would find in nature.
Price: About $10 for a three-pound bag of Bene Terra Organic Rabbit food.
Photo Credit: oxbowanimalhealth.com