Pet Footprints

There are more and more carbon footprint calculation services available for anyone, but these only count the emissions from our lifestyle, travelling and eating. There are however more sources of carbon emissions, even where we wouldn’t think about it. Such are our pets, which can have a significantly high carbon footprint.

According to a recent book, Time to Eat the Dog?: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living, these animals may have a significant impact on the climate.  Due to mainly their meat consumption, keeping a middle-sized dog is estimated to be equal to drive 6000 miles with a Toyota Land Cruiser, while a cat’s carbon emissions are similar to that of a Volkswagen Golf.  Two hamsters may create similar amount of carbon emissions as a plasma TV, while “less harmful” animals are rabbits, chicken, goldfish or a canary.

These figures are more significant when you consider that according to some studies there are more than eight million dogs and eight million cats in the UK as pets, the two most popular types. Taking this into account, future owners may want to think twice about the next ‘housemate’.

The book meanwhile also suggests several answers for addressing the issue. These include the sharing of favourite animals or catching rats for pet food instead of those bought in shops, besides choosing animals with less impact. These could be for example rabbits, which can be also eaten or chickens that provide eggs.

Ultimately however it may be easier to reduce human consumption and thus emissions by changing our own human habits and let the dog have his bone.

Written for Energy Saving Warehouse

 

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