When it comes to our feline friends, there's a lot to consider when looking at their environmental impact. Here are the top factors of your cat's effect on the environment.
What products does your cat need? How sustainable are they?
When it comes to your cat's health (and their environmental impact) it's important to first look at what goes in the food bowl. Smalls ingredients are sourced in North America, and our recipes are cooked in the US. Less distance from farm to kitchen means there are fewer carbon emissions associated with transporting, unlike other pet food options which could have an international supply chain. Next time you're at the store, check out the cat food labels and see where the product is made to get a sense of how far they had to travel to get to that shelf.
The cooking process
Smalls is proud to use human-grade ingredients for many reasons, one of which is how we're able to cook your cat's food. Because we start with higher quality ingredients, we can gently cook recipes to lock-in nutrients, and save energy. Conventional cat food cooking methods involve a process called extrusion, where ingredients are cooked at extremely high temperatures to remove moisture (and ultimately nutrients) to achieve a uniform shape. Plus, high cooking temperatures also help to kill bacteria found in lower quality ingredients. When the factories that make conventional cat food turn up the heat on the machinery, it impacts the planet's climate as well.
Another component of your cat's carbon pawprint is the litter they use. The options for litter seem almost endless, but it's important to look at what materials are used to determine the best (and most sustainable option) for your cat.
Litters can be made from a variety of clays, minerals, or plant matter. Clay and mineral-based litter is extremely common, and touts benefits like "clumping" for humans, while being very sand-like for your cat's sensitive paws. Similar to your cat's paws though, our planet is extremely sensitive to the processes of mining required to get such materials.
Clay-based and mineral (often recognized as crystals) litter requires intense mining techniques, that result in the earth being stripped of unrenewable resources, and cause additional problems like deforestation, erosion, and negative changes on an area's topography and watershed.
The best litter options are from renewable resources. We decided to make our litter with millet because it is a drought-tolerant grain, can millet grow in about half the time of wheat (without pesticides), and is requires 30 percent less water than corn. It's gentle on the planet, and your cat's paws and nose. Our millet litter is a fine grain that your cat's paws will appreciate, and naturally scent-free, unlike other plant-based litters like pine that can irritate your cat's sensitive nose.
What about how you receive those products?
The products your cat uses every day have to start somewhere, and can often be associated with a long, complicated supply chain.
Not only is Smalls sourced in North America and made in the US, we believe in shipping our products sustainably too.
Shipping & Smalls
We work closely with our shipping partners to make sure that each package is sent carbon-neutral. You can also work with your Cat Concierge to adjust your shipping cadence to reduce the overall number of shipments you receive! Doubling up each order's quantity, and receiving shipments half as often, results in less shipping overall.
If you've tried Smalls, you're familiar with our fan-favorite insulation. The corn-based insulators we use are biodegradable, and easily (safely) dissolve in your sink or on your compost pile. You could even eat them if you were desperate for a snack!
This insulation option is incredibly important to your cat's overall environmental impact. Conventional styrofoam could take thousands of years to breakdown in a landfill or could float in our already fragile oceans and impact the health of marine life.
We're also working on other ways to make Smalls more sustainable, including our product packaging. Our Human-grade Fresh food packaging contains multiple servings to reduce overall plastic waste, and we're exploring new plastic-alternatives, too.
What do you think your cat's environmental pawprint looks like? Smalls can help you improve it. Try a Smalls Sampler, or if your feline already loves Smalls, chat with your Cat Concierge to adjust your shipping cadence to be even more sustainable!
[#BeginTLDR#] Start with looking at what your cat eats. Smalls is made in the US with sustainably sourced ingredients, to help preserve our planet. [#SplitTLDR#] Cat litter can be extremely harmful to the environment. Try Smalls Millet litter as a biodegradable, and earth-friendly option [#EndTLDR#]