I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most environmentally conscientious person on the planet.

I recycle faithfully, and am sad that New Orleans lacks a residential glass recycling program. I buy local products whenever possible, which is usually pretty easy to do here, thankfully. All of the cleaning and personal care products in my home are “natural,” or as natural as they can be when they come off the shelf at Whole Foods.

And yet, there’s so much more I could be doing. I live in an extremely walkable neighborhood, yet I often find myself driving to places a short distance away, because the car makes it easier to combine multiple errands. I run the air conditioner like a fiend every time the temperature gets above 78 degrees. That aforementioned lack of glass recycling has never stopped me from buying a bottle of wine, either. So into the landfill that goes.

Like most people, I try to strike a balance between what works best for me- convenience-wise/cost-wise/everything else-wise- and what’s best for the world at large.

Pets pose a special consideration when it comes to thinking about the environment. You obviously want to do what’s best for them, but so many products aimed at pets are mass-produced, wildly expensive, inconvenient, or some combination of all three. Much of what’s on the market for pets is also made in China, which is its own can of worms.

For reasons relating to product safety, ecology, and worker’s rights, I try to avoid purchasing any products made in China. (Yet I’m typing this on an Apple product. Made in China.) It has been a personal issue of mine for a long time, and doesn’t always make for easy or cheap shopping. Yet most times a new recall alert goes out, warning consumers about products that are a danger to pets’ health, I can breathe a sigh of relief. And suddenly, all that annoyance I had about spending ridiculous amounts of money on pet food made from free-range animals raised in the American South is worth it.  

Basically, I’m sort of a mess when it comes to the environment, but I try. Given that you’ve even taken the time to read this far, I’m guessing that you try, as well.

Sarah’s Pet Care Revolution has come up with a pledge that rewards those small efforts toward ecological consciousness with acknowledgement and a gift. All the pledge asks is that you consider the world around you the next time you make a decision regarding your pet’s care. And frankly, if you’re already doing that, I think it’s fair to cheat a little and pat yourself on the back right now.

You can start here.

Written by Heather Haebe, Full-Time Pet Expert, Uptown, at Sarah’s Pet Care Revolution