NCTimes.com - You're vegetarian, you shop with your own recycled bags and work hard to keep your waste out of the landfill, so it make sense that you are leaning toward an animal companion that matches your green lifestyle. Look no further - rabbits are one of the most planet-friendly pets around!
Rabbits are herbivores - they eat only plants and grasses. Shop at your local farmer's market for their daily salad: ask for the trimmings from carrots, beets, turnips, etc. and get them for free! Hay can come from your local feed store decreasing the food miles required to sustain your rabbit companion.
A rabbit's waste is composed of broken-down hay fibers, which is clean and free from bacteria that are harmful to our environment. Sure, you still have to dump a litter box, but its contents can go straight onto your compost pile. Use rabbit-friendly paper- or wood-based litter box filler, which makes wonderful compost material.
Plant a vegetable garden to feed you and your rabbit. Use bunny's litter box waste to fertilize the plants and act as mulch to protect roots and hold in moisture. You don't even have to compost it first; rabbit waste is nutrient-rich and safe to use right from the litter box.
Rabbits love green toys and can recycle lots of items for you. Cardboard boxes make great homes and are fun to chew. Empty tissue boxes or toilet paper tubes stuffed with hay make yummy treats. Old magazines and phone books translate into hours of shredding fun. Empty paper bags create fun hiding places.
You can use non-toxic cleaning products for your rabbit. Vinegar and water make the best cleaning solution for bunny's washable bedding, toys, and litterbox. Not only is it completely safe, vinegar has been proven to kill bacteria.
Another way to think green when choosing a rabbit companion: Adopt - don't shop. Visit your local shelter, humane society or rabbit rescue. Don't shop at a pet store or breeder when so many rabbits are available through rescues!
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Written by Judith Pierce