Animals, People, & the Earth

A Holiday Season Good for all Earth Animals

Making Sustainable Choices This Season

‘Tis the season to start thinking about all things holidays. From gifts to wrapping to décor, the festive choices seem endless, and with all the mass-produced paper and plastic products clogging the market, making earth and animal friendly decisions can get overwhelming. We know you want to spoil your pup this holiday season and still be kind to the earth in the process, so we’ve created this guide to help you have a happy Earth Animal holiday.


When it comes to presents, you’ll have lots of options: balls, squeaky toys, plush toys, and specially decorated holiday treats. You want the best for your furry best friend, so be sure to choose wisely. Make sure that any toys you purchase are of high quality so that they will last longer and be safer for your animal companion. Read the label to verify that materials are nontoxic and remember to match the toy with your dog’s size and interests.

Some dogs love to cuddle, so a dog-friendly plush will be a much-loved gift. Make sure it is one made specifically for dogs and that it doesn’t have plastic eyes or other parts that may accidentally be chewed off and swallowed. Keep an eye on your dog while she snuggles her plush and replace it when it begins to look worn.

Some dogs love to chase, so a dog-friendly ball will be a great choice. Avoid tennis balls as they can be abrasive to the dog’s teeth, and they pose a choking hazard. They may also be made of materials that are toxic to dogs. Instead, choose balls made especially for dogs of nontoxic, recycled, or even organic materials. Again, match the ball to your dog’s size and always supervise playtime.

Some dogs need lots of mental stimulation, so give a puzzle box. As always, ensure that the materials are high quality and non-toxic, and get a puzzle that matches your dog’s size and interest. Fill the puzzle with healthy treats, too.

All dogs love to chew, and Earth Animal’s No-Hide Chews are a great option. Chewing is both mentally and physically stimulating for dogs, but traditional rawhide treats can contain toxic chemicals and bacteria, pose a choking hazard, and cause significant digestive illness. No-Hide Chews are a much better alternative as they are made with six simple human-grade ingredients, contain no toxic chemicals, and are easy on the stomach.

If you want to give your dog some special food treats for the holidays, the best choice is to make something yourself or buy organic treats from a local, trusted pet shop. Be wary of fancy-looking treats that may not have appropriate ingredients for dog digestive systems and avoid high-calorie treats. A great homemade choice is to freeze some peanut butter into a Kong and give your dog the gift of hours of delicious fun.


When wrapping up gifts for both dogs and people, keep in mind the toll that wrapping paper takes on the earth every year. The production of just over three pounds of wrapping paper releases roughly seven pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. Since one American household alone typically uses around 300 pounds of paper during the holiday season, those CO2 emissions really add up. Shiny and glitter-encrusted paper is especially bad as it cannot be recycled and is full of microplastics that pollute the oceans. Consider not wrapping gifts, decorating tea towels for a multi-purpose option, wrapping them in recycled paper, or using re-purposed paper like grocery bags, newspaper, or magazines. Give Mother Nature the gift of some fresh air by reducing your carbon footprint.


The star of the decorations in most homes at holiday time is the Christmas tree. While it may seem that artificial trees are a good eco-friendly choice because they don’t require cutting down a live tree, in reality, the plastics that they are made with and the process of creating them make them environmentally unfriendly. Live trees, on the other hand, clean the air while they are growing and can be recycled naturally as a winter habitat for local animals in your yard. They will also break down naturally and become part of the earth once more. Tree farmers also tend to be environmentally minded and will plant replacement trees, usually two trees for each one cut. Just be sure to buy your live Christmas tree locally to avoid adding carbon emissions for transport. That said, if you already own an artificial Christmas tree, your most environmentally friendly choice is to keep using it rather than tossing it into a landfill in exchange for a real tree. It is estimated that you’ll need to reuse an artificial Christmas tree for ten years in order to break even with the carbon output required to create it, so don’t toss until you’ve used it for at least a decade.

When it comes to decorating the tree, the yard, and the rest of your house, try to make your own decorations out of materials you already have and can repurpose or out of natural materials. Green yarn wrapped around sticks you find in your yard can make cute tiny Christmas trees, and some paint and glitter on a pinecone can make a lovely ornament.

When it comes to gifting and decorating this holiday season, it’s easy to honor the earth and your animals. A little planning and creativity make for a happy, safe, and green holiday season.





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