When people first starting pushing the idea of taking care of the Earth, the says 'reduce, reuse, and recycle' were thrown around everywhere. The truth is you need to be doing all three of those things and then some to truly be making a difference in helping the Earth be destroyed at a slower rate.So, when it comes to reusing things, great do it, but it all really starts with when you buy something. When you start searching online and see 'earth-friendly', just how friendly is it? How GREEN was the manufacturing?
- How long will the materials take to decompose?
- How much pollution was caused to make the materials?
- How quickly and safely can those materials be reproduced in the environment?
- How are the workers treated? (Humans are part of the Earth, too)!
So now onto my real point of this blog post, how do you find the best eco-friendly dog crate you can spend your hard earned money on? I have a metal one that I have had for years. It was purchased back when green and eco-friendly were not marketing tools or even information a manufacturer shared with the consumer. It is metal, not even sure what metals are in it; I am guessing some iron since it has some rusting going on. I have no idea what type of paint was used on the metal, and it had a plastic tray at the bottom, (which over time, my dog destroyed and had been decomposing in a landfill for over six years....only 30 more to go maybe???). If at some point I do decide to replace it, or have to replace it, there are a lot of options out there that are environmentally friendly, but when you start searching you get some misleading products as well. I'm sorry, but a crate made in China from recycled plastic does not make my cut for being environmentally friendly! The mistreatment of factory workers, the extreme pollution to recycle and remix the plastic and the pollution to ship the whole thing, and I could go on, but I won't. I would much rather buy a homemade wooden dog crate from a local guy. Even then I would still wonder what wood he used and what paint or stain was on it, but still a much better chance that dog crate is actually eco-friendly!
So, if you are looking for an earth friendly dog crate or other items, I suggest starting with finding out what materials are being used to make the crate. At inhabitat.com, there was a great article about which materials, (wood, plastic, or metal) are best/greenest for human furniture, and those same rules can apply to dog furniture.
All in all, when I look at all the dog crate options out there, I think wood is the winner, (but be cautious for wood composite or veneer). The only down side I can see to this option is a chewing puppy eating his way out of it. However, given the proper training, toys, and limited time in the crate....wood is how I would go, if I had it to do over again. Hunt Ridge Ranch, offers some beautiful wood crate options and so did mywooddogcrate.net. However, there were plenty of misleading products out there when I searched for "eco-friendly dog crate" on the Internet. Be a good green consumer and do your research before you buy. Check out the company, the materials and the OVERALL impact of product you are considering.
You always have the option of making one yourself. Upcycle old wood or wooden furniture into a dog crate that is perfect for your furry friend. I have also seen people use old pallets and wooden crates to make raised dog bowl holders and dog beds.....all great alternatives to the plastic ones!
And to be quite honest, when my old metal dog crate does need to be replaced, I will definitely be looking for ways to upcycle it into something else, and you can bet that project will be on my Pupcycled Pinterest board!