Life in the Green Lane

Environmental journalist Candice Batista shares video clips and eco-savvy advice from her TV show, A Greener Toronto.

There's no bones about it, those of us who have pets, love them dearly, but can we lighten the eco-pawprint of our pets? The answer is a resounding woof, or meow. There are ways to green your pet without hurting the planet. Adopt your furry friend from a shelter, it's the best way to muzzle the mills. Why buy an animal when you can adopt one of the thousands that are abandoned every year in Toronto. Spay it forward. Thousands of animal give birth each and every year, leading to an over population crisis in many cases. That takes a huge toll on our planet. So snip this population crisis in the bud by spaying or neutering you pets. They'll live longer, healthier lives. Also, keep your canine on a leash, feral or unleashed dogs have been know to kill other wildlife and outdoor cats kills birds at alarming rates, keep house cats inside because of the dangers of cars, predators, disease, and other hazards. If your kitty really needs to break free, try an outdoor cat enclosure. When it come to the food, go organic. Most pet foods contain pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics. On many labels you'll see the words meat or poultry byproducts, this usually means that the food contains waste materials culled from "4D" animals: the dead, diseased, dying, or disabled. You wouldn't eat that so why should you pet. Look for certified organic pet food. Now, when washing your pet, use products that do not contain chemicals. Animals, like humans can have sensitive skin, the only difference they can't tell you it stings. And probably the most impotst aspect of grrening your pet is the poop...use a compostable poop bag. You can find these at The Big Carrot in Toronto. Keep these simple thing in minds and your pet's eco-paw print will be less.