Incorporating Pet-Friendly, Sustainable Ideas Into Your Interior Design

Most pet owners see their dog or cat as a beloved part of the family, but having pets can leave a bigger carbon footprint than you may have imagined. An average-sized dog produces around 770kg of CO2e per year, while a cat can generate around 310kg of CO2e annually. The biggest culprit when it comes to sustainability is their food. But the buck doesn’t stop there. Everything we buy for our pets—from dog houses to beds—has a carbon footprint, and it all adds up. The good news is that your pet doesn’t have to be just another statistic. Through clever interior design, you can ensure that your interiors are pet-friendly while still paying due respect to our green and blue Planet.


Choosing Sustainable Fabrics

Whether you enjoy having soft upholstered chairs and cushions or your sofa is your main statement piece, ensure that it is made of sustainable yet sturdy fabrics that will resist your pet’s claws. Your chosen fabric should also be easy to vacuum in case your pet has an accident while resting on this piece of furniture. Choices to look into include bamboo, which is known for its strength and durability, and which is naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic. This material is also stain-resistant and easy to clean. Other materials that may be to your liking are hemp fabric, recycled polyester, recycled leather, and organic cotton canvas. The latter is great if you have cats, as its tight weave makes it less prone to snagging. Opt for pieces with removable, washable covers that make it easy to clean pet hair, dirt, and dander.


Falling for Environmentally Friendly Wall Panels

Dogs and cats can sometimes pee on the most unsuspected surfaces such as wallpaper or painted walls. If you are into biophilic design, and you love the warmth that wood wall panels bring, consider covering your wall in this material. Lower your carbon footprint by choosing panels made of sustainable materials like recycled wood, bamboo, or reclaimed wood. The good news is that the small investment you make in this eco-friendly material will be worth it, as wooden wall panels are very easy to clean and stand the test of time.


Embracing the Power of Plants

Green is in when it comes to interior design, and that means incorporating as many indoor plants as you can into your design, so your home is converted into a veritable oasis. Plants add warmth, vibrancy, and beauty to your home, while also improving your indoor air quality. To hop on this trend, ensure you have a blend of pot, hanging, and desk/shelf plants. Ensure your choices are pet-friendly, since many popular indoor plants (such as the sago palm, lily plants, and pothos) can be incredibly toxic to pets. 


Harness the Power of Energy-Efficient Lighting

If you work long hours and your pet is alone at night, then installing energy-efficient, smart lighting is a wonderful way to ensure they’re never in the dark. Designer LED bulbs and fixtures with motion sensors ensure that your pet can see where they are going, without wasting unnecessary electricity. Of course, if you can, go the extra mile and make the switch to solar energy. If your solar panels generate enough energy to cover your entire energy usage, then you could also make savings of up to $1,500 a year! Smart thermostats are another way to keep your energy expenditure low and ensure that your pets are comfortable regardless of the season. 


In the Dog House

If you plan on purchasing a dog or cat house for your interior or exterior, why not make it yourself instead? Use reclaimed materials to create a safe haven so your pet can enjoy a little “me time” when they need it. Think about smaller designer projects that can add a touch of magic to the different spaces your pets inhabit as well. Just a few eco-friendly projects you can embark upon include bowls, scratching posts, and personalized feeding stations.

There are a myriad of ways to have a beautiful, sustainable, pet-friendly home. Start by replacing any old or worn items with sustainable, quality versions that will stand the test of time. Get creative by completing a DIY project that blends your passion for design with the comfort and happiness of your pet.

Submitted by Chrissy Jones

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