Today’s post is by our fellow blogger and good buddy Noelle, who blogs at The Daily Tannenbaum. If you’d like to guest post for The Greenists, e-mail courtney at thegreenists dot com.
Hi, long lost Noelle here. I’m coming out of Greenists and blogging hiatus in a quest to turn Allie’s blog into a resource on all things kitty litter. I was inspired after reading the recent post about Kitty’s Crumble here. It just so happened that a local natural pet store I was meaning to go to was also a supplier of the Crumble.
I’m a lover of all things local, and part of that reason is that when you go to a store and have a conversation with the owner, you almost always walk away with the best possible product you can get. I chatted with the Natural Pet Center Owner and told her I was looking for some Crumble, and she asked me, “do you live in an apartment? Do you have a barn? Does your cat go to the bathroom outdoors?” And then she took me on a field trip to the barn part of her store and showed me where she had a litter box full of Kitty’s Crumble for the outdoor cats on the premises. She agreed that they really seemed to like it and that it was great for compost, but then she told me that the litter has a tendency to track brown stuff on furniture when used indoors, and that since I don’t compost (someday when money’s no object and I can do it indoors…) it wasn’t the right litter for me.
Then she steered me in the direction of the World’s Best Litter. Really, that’s what it’s called. It’s a good thing they were right. Otherwise, it’s like titling your novel “Winner of the Pulitzer Prize” or naming your kid “President Tannenbaum” or referring to your dog as “Best In Show.” It’s a lot to live up to, is what I’m saying. Read more…
Today’s post is written by our newest Greenist, Howling Hill!
One of the easiest ways to green your kitchen is to keep a small flock of chickens. Easy to care for, versatile, relatively quiet, and amusing chickens are a must have for any microsteader* with a little space.
When Wolf and I first discussed getting chickens we had a fair amount of fear. Neither of us had any idea how much work they would be. I can say without any deception chickens are very little work. Feed and water them, collect the eggs, and chickens pretty much care for themselves.
Feeding is easy. We give our flock a combination of foods. First, they have access to our compost pile, which they love. Within days a clump of rotting vegetables and fruits is a dark, wonderful compost ready for the garden.** Second, we give them all kinds of table scraps (no meats though): vegetables, fruits, breads, cheese, yogurt, nuts. Third, they get egg-laying chicken feed, though we use that to supplement their diet, not as their only food source. Fourth, they eat bugs so their poop will attract flies, etc. the chickens will scratch through and eat the larva of the flies, the flies themselves, mosquitoes, snakes, chipmunks, you name it. Chickens are omnivorous and they will eat anything including each other and their own eggs, so just be vigilant. Read more…
Okay, so admittedly, the book trailer for STAY has nothing to do with being green. But since STAY is my first novel and I’m super excited, I hope you’ll allow me to veer a little.
And, to make it up to you, here are some things I do to lower Argo & Stella’s carbon footprint:
Look for quality dog food that comes packaged in paper, not plastic. I feed Stella and Argo Newman’s Own Organics, and love that it’s plastic free.
Look for plastic free or low plastic options for leashes and collars when you need new ones, but don’t buy them new ones until you need to. Argo and Stella both wear hemp martingale collars from EarthDog. There’s only one small piece of plastic on the collar, and they are amazingly durable. Argo has had his collar since 2007, and Stella has had hers since November 2008. Neither show any signs of wearing out anytime soon.
Clean up after your dog, and dispose of the waste properly. Composting and doggie septic systems may not be the best option, especially if you live in a colder climate, where the waste may not heat up enough to kill water contaminating bacteria and parasites. This website has a lot of advice for dealing with pet waste. Unfortunately, bagging and placing in the trash may be the best option for waste. And if you do compost pet waste anyway, do not use that compost on food crops.
Keep your lawn chemical-free. Dogs eat grass and love to roll around on a freshly mowed lawn. Make your lawn as safe as possible for them.
Since my novel, STAY, is coming out this week, and Argo is on the cover, the dogs are getting all the attention. I figured I’d put up a cat post, so the cat doesn’t get jealous and attack me in my sleep,
The good folks at Kitty’s Crumble Pet Litter sent me a bag of litter for me to test (or, more specifically, for the cat to test). It costs me all of a few cents to make my own kitty litter. Anything anyone sends along has to be way better than the litter I make, which performs well and is practically free. That sets the bar pretty high.
Kitty’s Crumble beats free litter hands down. Since this summer is going to be very busy, and I won’t have time to make my own litter, I will be buying this litter once we’ve finished up the bag, and I will feel like it’s money well-spent. Read more…
It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with the health and safety of my pets, but goodness they are messy! While Argo and Stella do a fantastic job of making nose smudges on the windows, muddy footprints on the floors (and sometimes counters!) and leaving their gunky toys all over the place, they don’t do a good job of cleaning up. And they lick EVERYTHING, so using harsh chemicals to clean up after them isn’t an option. Read more…
It PAINS me to write this review. I am, after all, the person who made up her very own kitty litter recipe. And that kitty litter is pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. When Drew from World’s Best Cat Litter offered to send me a bag of litter to test out, I did warn him that I’m something of an expert. I mean, for me to actually want to buy kitty litter it has to be markedly better than the stuff I make for about 3 cents worth of baking soda per batch. So I was incredibly skeptical. If I’m being completely honest, I kind of wanted it to fail. But if I’m still being completely honest, I have to admit that it’s the best kitty litter my cat has ever used.
I don’t know about you, but we are firmly ensconced in winter here in Rochester. Ice, snow, having to scale huge drifts to get to your car – it’s fun stuff for humans, and it can also mean trouble for pets.
Conventional snow melters, like rock salt and other salt based melters are rough on pet paws, and when pets come in and lick their feet, it can be rough on their digestive tracts too. Read more…
Looking for a gift for your pet or your favorite pet lover? Here are a few greener ideas.
Argo and Stella LOVE Zukes treats. I use Mini Naturals as bribes when I photograph them (the cover shot for STAY was made possible by Salmon Mini Naturals). Zuke’s sent me some of their new Mini Bakes Biscuits, and Argo and Stella were jumping up and down before I even got the box open. Plus, it’s nice that Zuke’s treats are small (the Mini Naturals are 2 calories each), so I can give them a treat without adding too many extra calories to their daily intake. All Zukes treats are wheat and corn free. And they make cat treats too! $5-11.
Up Country has FDA approved, lead-free ceramic bowls and accessories with adorable designs for dogs and cats $5-20. Read more…
We fight the constant battle of dog smells in our house. Most commercial products don’t really make the smell go away, they just add a stronger smell to the mix. And, quite frankly, I’d rather my house smell like plain old dog feet than “ocean breeze” dog feet, or “spring flower” dog feet. Read more…
The Shelter Pet Project, a collaboration between The Humane Society, The Ad Council, and Maddie’s Fund, has put together a site full of resources to help you find a new friend at your local animal shelter. Check it out!
Do you have a shelter pet? Tell us about your furry friend in the comments.
According toReal Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.
So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.