Eco-Friendly Tips for Pet Owners

 Autumn is a great time to organize your house, your family, and your pets. It is also a good time to reevaluate your green footprint.   Many people clear out warm-weather clothing, reorganize their kitchens for upcoming holiday feasts, and store camping equipment until next season. Why not extend that to your pets? While you prepare for the coming season and the holidays that come with it, keep in mind there are many things you can do to lessen that footprint, especially if you have furry family members.

Adopt and Spay or Neuter

If you are looking for a cuddly Christmas gift, consider adoption. Adopting a pet not only saves a sweet animal from euthanization, but also reduces the amount of resources used at shelters to care for the animal. Spaying and neutering pets reduces the homeless pet population, which provides similar benefits as adopting an animal.

Healthy Food, Healthy Pet

Pet food is mostly meat-based. Choose minimally processed foods made with locally raised meat, eco-friendly fish, and organic vegetables. If you prefer, you can make your pet’s food, but make sure to ask your pet’s vet for a list of healthy options first.

Waste Disposal

Pet waste is a huge problem for the environment. Not only is it laden with dangerous bacteria that are harmful to wildlife and our fresh lakes and rivers, but the plastic bags that people use to dispose of it litter our landfills. Opt for biodegradable bags to dispose of your pet’s waste.

Additionally, cat litter, especially the clay-clumping variety, is also not biodegradable and is full of cancer-causing chemicals that are harmful to both your cat and the environment. The clay is strip-mined, which ruins entire ecosystems and strips land of the nutrients needed to grow vegetation.

Clean Green

The chemicals in many household cleaners are harmful to your pets. Use natural enzyme-based cleaners to eliminate pet stains and odors. Natural cleaners, such as lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar or natural cleaning products are healthy options for household cleaning. Lifekind has a great line of green cleaning and personal-care products, including the natural enzyme cleaner pictured above.

Don’t forget your yard. Many animals, including my sweet boxer, Trooper, love to eat grass. Make sure to protect them by using only natural products in your yard and garden.

You can also use biodegradable shampoos and conditioners for your furry friends, or make your own.

Pet Gear

Pets are easily entertained. A little yarn, a piece of scrap material, or a cardboard box will keep your cat playing for hours. My dog prefers attention and a human playmate, rather than playing with a toy. Trooper would much rather take a hike in the woods or have a wrestling match with his “daddy” than chew on a store-bought toy. If you prefer to purchase a toy for your pet, stay away from anything plastic, and preferably purchase toys made with organic or recycled materials.

There are also many great options for organic or natural pet products, including pet beds. OMI offers some great organic pet beds made with certified organic cotton, organic buckwheat, and/or 100% natural rubber latex.

Remember to donate gently used toys and gear to pet shelters, too.


Nature’s Sleep Aids

Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? One of the easiest ways to combat insomnia and sleeplessness is to utilize the benefits of natural essential oils. Whether you apply the oils topically, add them to a warm bath, diffuse them, or spritz* them onto your pillowcase or eyemask, certain essential oils provide relief for insomnia and aid in falling and staying asleep.


lavender By now, many people know that lavender helps to soothe and relax tired minds and muscles. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Scientific evidence suggests that aromatherapy with lavender may slow the activity of the nervous system, improve sleep quality, promote relaxation, and lift mood in people suffering from sleep disorders.” It is also beneficial as a bug repellent and antibiotic, for all you avid campers.

 Ylang Ylang

imagesThis essential oil is one of my favorites for relaxation, probably because of its fragrant floral notes. It reduces stress and relaxes the nerves. I like to mix a couple drops of this with lavender or chamomile for added benefits.

 Roman Chamomile

chamomile-401490_640Roman Chamomile has a sweet, fruity aroma. It has a calming effect, and is great to diffuse for a soothing and peaceful environment, i.e., one that promotes and supports sleep.



Bergamot is a good choice for someone who loves citrus scents, but it is much more calming than the more stimulating oils of grapefruit or tangerine. It is great for “clearing your head” in preparation for a peaceful night’s rest.



This essential oil is extracted from the root of the vetiver plant. It has a warm, earthy scent, and promotes sleep while also relieving stress and muscle tension.

* I recommend adding a couple drops of essential oil to a water-based spritzer so the oil does not stain your bed linens.

Our cozy, cozy Eco-Wool Comforter

It’s officially winter, and with the winter months come those warm blankets. But wouldn’t it be nice to not have to pull out those extras just because it’s a bit chillier? I recently spoke with a customer who was looking for a good solution for her and her husband. The problem is that her husband gets really hot during the night, and she always gets cold. They can never agree on a thermostat setting, much less the number of blankets that should go on the bed.

The OMI Eco-Wool™ Comforter is the perfect solution for this couple. One of the most appealing qualities of wool is that it naturally regulates body temperature. With its ability to retain air, it’s a great insulator, and its wicking properties keep your body from getting hot and sweaty while you sleep. Basically, it will keep you cool during the summer months, and nice and warm during the winter.  Wool is warm yet breathable, which prevents overheating and the accumulation of moisture, mildew, and mold. We designed it with a special quilting pattern to eliminate clumping and hollow spots.

As with most organic products, there are some special considerations to take note of, since you can’t just toss our comforter in the washing machine. It should not be wet washed or dry cleaned. We recommend spot cleaning with a live enzyme cleaner, (a great option is available from our sister company, Lifekind (available HERE) and periodically airing it out in the sunlight to maintain freshness. Sunlight is a natural rejuvinator for wool. It will actually spring the wool fibers back to life and help maintain its loft.


To find a retailer near you to order a cozy OMI comforter click HERE.