Traditional cat litter is made up of clay known as diatomaceous earth, or sodium bentonite. The clay is extracted using strip mining. Strip mining is a very destructive process that removes huge amounts of earth to get to the targeted resource.If you have a cat or more than one, you probably go through a lot of cat litter, without realizing it has a significant environmental impact.
Silicon particles found in traditional clay cat litter are known to be carcinogenic. This makes cat litter a potential health threat.
Then there is the issue of waste. Every year in the United States, approximately 8 million pounds of cat litter is dumped in landfills. That’s more than twice the weight of disposable diapers going to landfills.
Thankfully, green cat litter alternatives are now starting to become available. Green cat litter is typically from all natural, renewable, organic and biodegradable sources. Green cat litter can often be composted or flushed. Often it is made from grain crops such as wheat or corn.
Some green cat litter is even made out recycled newspaper. Others use sawdust from reclaimed wood. If you can’t find green cat litter in your local stores, you can order it online. Some green cat litter may even be packaged in recycled and/or biodegradable material.
The material used in environmentally friendly cat litter is often lighter than the clay that’s used, which is very heavy. This means that less energy is used to transport it. In some cases, less cat litter is required, when eco friendly litter is used, reducing waste further.
Switching to environmentally friendly cat litter makes a big difference, because traditional cat litter is very bad for the environment. Even if you have to spend a little bit extra, it’s worth it.
For more great green living tips, return to Go Green Zine.