Category: Green Watch

Make it Your Pet Project to Reduce your Carbon Paw Print

Many Canadians have committed to live a “greener” life but where they fall short is taking steps to benefit their four-legged friends. From using natural flea sprays to how we grow our gardens, there are numerous ways Canadians can provide a safe and environmentally-friendly lifestyle for their cat or dog, while simultaneously reducing their eco paw print.

This summer Purina has partnered with Evergreen (a national charity that makes cities more livable by creating and sustaining dynamic outdoor spaces) to educate Canadians on how a few simple changes inside and outside the home can make an impactful difference for our furry friends.

Here are a few tips to on how reduce your pet’s paw print:

In the home:
– We stay away from plastic bottles with BPA and should do the same for our pet’s food dishes. Instead, buy stainless steel or porcelain dog bowls. They are non-toxic, odour free and come in numerous shapes and sizes.
– From collars to leashes, look for pet accessories made from recycled or natural materials.
– Responsible pet ownership also includes cleaning up after your dog on a walk. Choose biodegradable bags to keep the process clean and green.
– Super absorbent microfibre towels dry a wet dog faster and more efficiently. Plus they take less energy in the dryer too!
– Use natural flea sprays that contain no harsh chemicals or toxins and are safe to spray around pets and kids.
– Shoes for your schnauzer? Look for reusable, waterproof dog boots.  They come in a rainbow of colours and are 100% biodegradable!
– Sleep easy by making sure your pet has an eco-friendly bed. Regular foam beds can contain fire retardants and other petroleum-based chemicals.
– Knowing cats groom themselves by licking, be sure to vacuum frequently to help protect them from toxic chemicals found in house dust.  And don’t forget to take your shoes off at the door to prevent outdoor toxins from entering the house.

In the yard:
– If you have an outdoor cat consider planting an edible garden for your feline friend and let your cat graze on a salad bar of catnip, cat mint, cat thyme, wheat grass and oat grass.
– If you have a playful pooch, best to stay away from any plants with thorns such as roses or raspberry bushes.  We don’t want them rolling into a spikey surprise.
– Adding mulch to your soil helps to retain moisture, reduce erosion and suppress weed growth. If you have a dog, choose your mulch wisely and stay away from the popular, but poisonous, cocoa bean mulch. Instead, look for medium sized alternatives that have not been processed or dyed.
– Ornamental plants can be more than decorative to your furry friends. Some of the most popular plants including Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Fox-glove contain toxins that are poisonous for pets.
– Be sure to keep your pets (cats and dogs) leashed when walking on unknown trails to protect plant life and wildlife in forests and wetlands.
– Cats can be wildlife savvy by wearing a leash and collar bell to alert and protect birds and other wildlife.

From June 1 to August 30 Canadians can go to to enter for a chance to win one of five eco-friendly backyard makeovers valued at $5,000 each.

Pining For More Trees In The Community?

Communities looking for some green to support their urban forestry projects have one month left to apply for a matching grant of up to $15,000 through TD Green Streets. The grants, awarded through a partnership between TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) and Tree Canada, are available to Municipalities, Aboriginal communities and Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto-based Business Improvement Associations (BIAs). Applications must be submitted before December 9, 2011.

“We’re honoured to support innovative practices from communities across Canada to plant and maintain trees through the TD Green Streets program, and we’re excited to see the initiatives that our entrants are planning in the coming year,” says Mary Desjardins, Executive Director, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. “We encourage municipalities, Aboriginal communities and BIAs planning urban forestry projects to apply.”

With up to 20 grants available for tree planting, inventory, maintenance and educational activities, communities can receive the crucial funding necessary to support urban forestry projects that will help revitalize their main streets.

Applicants are encouraged to visit for details.

Coca-Cola® Cans go White in Support of the Polar Bear

Have you seen the new white Coca-Cola® cans that aim to raise awareness for the world’s declining polar bear population? The company has turned their cans from red to white with an added image of a mother polar bear and her cubs that are available in stores this holiday season.

With nearly two thirds of the world’s polar bear population living right here in Canada, this Arctic species is a fundamental part of our ecosystem and culture. However, the Arctic home of the polar bear is in danger as climate change continues to affect their fragile environment.

As Canadians we have a special responsibility to help protect this habitat and that is why Coca-Cola Ltd. has partnered with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to protect the home of the polar bear. As a symbol of this commitment Coca-Cola has already donated $2 million to kick off the Arctic Home campaign and will match up to $1 million in donations until March 15, 2012.

You too can make a difference. Donate online at – you can also explore, experience and learn about the polar bear and its Arctic home by watching video chats with WWF scientists and tracking virtual polar bear sightings.

PUMA Breaks New Ground in Sustainable Footwear


Sportlifestyle company PUMA introduces PUMA Re-Suede. PUMA took one of the Brand’s most well-known and iconic shoes, the Suede, and re-tooled each component with the highest degree of recycled materials, delivering sustainable style through an unforgettable look.

An icon of culture, the original PUMA Suede was a 70’s statement shoe, an 80’s Hip-Hop must-have and ever present in the alternative music scene of the 1990’s.Famous for its bright colours, suede material, and custom lacing techniques, the PUMA Suede now stands for another thing…sustainability.

The PUMA Re-Suede has been developed using the latest materials and processes in eco-friendly product innovation. Every aspect of the shoes has been designed with environmental impact in mind including the upper, sockliner, laces and sublining…all made with 100% recycled materials and an innovative new outsole material.

The synthetic ultra suede upper material is created by Toray, leaders in the development of environmentally-responsible materials. The synthetic suede is comprised of 100% recycled polyester fibers, produced by a chemical recycling process that reduces the energy consumption and the CO2 emission by 80% compared to the production of virgin materials. Additionally, the PUMA Re-Suede outsole is made from Double R Rice Rubber, which replaces a portion of the rubber content with a rice husk filler, reducing the overall rubber needed, and saving considerable fossil fuel energy in manufacturing and agricultural resources.

The new footwear is incredibly light weight, thereby reducing the fossil fuels needed in transport, saving 15 tons of carbon emissions for every ten-thousand pairs shipped. The Re-Suede will be sold in PUMA’s Clever Little Bag, a cutting-edge innovation in sustainable packaging that replaces traditional shoeboxes.

Humane Society International Applauds European General Court Ruling on Seal Products Ban


Humane Society International commended a landmark decision by the European General Court to dismiss a case challenging the 2010 European Union prohibition on trade in products of commercial seal kills. The world’s largest commercial sealing interests, together with fur industry lobby groups and a number of Inuit sealing advocates, put forward the case in 2010.

“This cynical attempt to overturn European law, by those who seek to profit from the mass commercial slaughter of baby seals, has failed,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. “This is an important victory for the overwhelming majority of Europeans and Canadians who want the seal slaughter to end, and for the countless seals who will be spared a horrible fate because of this decision. Today’s ruling is yet more evidence that the commercial sealing industry is coming to an end. It is time for the Canadian government to respect Canadian and global opinion and implement a fair plan to compensate sealers and bring the seal slaughter to a final close.”

This ruling comes on the heels of the Canadian government challenge of the EU ban at the World Trade Organization, which has been perceived by many in the EU as a baseless attack on European values and democratic processes. In response, a number of Members of the European Parliament have indicated they are less likely to ratify the pending Canada-European Union Economic and Trade Agreement -a deal reportedly worth $12 billion annually to Canada’s economy-unless Canada withdraws its WTO challenge.

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI/Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International, one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than eleven million members and constituents globally.