Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Post-holiday plastic wrap-up

What aesthetic urge prompts people to put out giant plastic inflatable decorations? I'm not just picking on Xmas here, I don't want to see inflatable turkeys, goblins, leprechauns, easter bunnies or any other such creatures lurching about in the wind in front of a neighbor's house. One night of a good winter storm's wind and the inflatable looks like the one at left, wilted into a pissed off expression!

The idea is to use Less Plastic not more, along with Less Energy Usage, and not to buy Things that will end up in The Landfill after one season's use.

In the spirit of ignoring all the hype and wanting to keep my out-going trash to a minimum, I avoided most holiday temptations. It is always a pleasure not to shop during the weeks prior to Xmas. And this year, I also avoided the After Sales Events. Sometimes the things one really needs are not for sale any where. Things like peace and quiet and a new kitten who came into this household on December 23rd.

I gathered up my cloth shopping bags and headed to Pets Plus for kitten food. I was somewhat startled to see the sign posted: "Special Extended Holiday Shopping Hours!" Was this so Fido could have extra time making up his mind what to purchase for his fellow animal companions?

However, I did not leave that store without succumbing to temptations. I bought a bed for the kitten, which turned out to be a good thing. She loves it and I find her curled up in it when I get home from outside adventures. I probably could have made something similar out of recycled materials, but like millions of other people -- I chose convenience.

Then I made a stupid purchase -- a kitty play gym for fifty bucks. It is constructed of pieces of pressed wood covered with petroleum based carpeting, something I don't have anywhere in my house. There is a play mouse on a string hanging inside a hoop. The hoop is made out of a pressed wood form (a process that uses formaldehyde) and the mouse upon closer inspection is made from some kind of real fur (shudder). No country of origin listed on a label anywhere. The brand name is Kitty Condo.

Later back home, and racked with guilt, I looked online to see if I could find a "green" cat gym. I found one made out of PVC (!) and another made out of pressed wood covered with faux fleece, and one that is made to look like a tree stump but doesn't list materials used. Here's a very expensive cat gym, without carpeting, but made out of veneered plywood and covered with polyurethane coating. The designer had the living room decor more in mind than the comfort and safety of the cat with that one.

My quick search for "green" cat gyms and condos did not turn up anything suitable. Obviously, this is a market waiting to be tapped. Just another one of those little local green businesses I wish I could walk down Kenmore Blvd and find.

At Pets Plus, I also bought a half-off Xmas squeaky ball for Obie. He's been carrying it around ever since, never letting it get far from sight. Both animals are retrievers. Ophelia arrived here with a foam rubber ball that was her favorite kitten toy. She will run after every toss and then leap back up onto the couch and drop the ball for me to toss again. I've never seen anything like it in a cat!

Ophelia likes the kitty gym, but after a good work out, she heads over to the couch to hang out with Oberon.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Your kitty is adorable, and your post has inspired me to research eco-friendly pet furniture. It IS out there, but some of it's quite expensive. I have found quite a few natural scratching posts, but not a lot of natural kitty condos without carpet, although there are some.

Here's a list of stuff I've found so far, but I'm going to keep searching:











Village Green said...

Thanks for all the links. I will be checking your blog regularly for hints on how to raise cats environmentally without plastic! Your kitten duo look as cute as can be!