Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!!!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Make a homemade felt dog Christmas ornament!

Browsing around the internet, I came across some super cute Christmas tree ornaments of dogs made from felt, and thought....'how easy these would be to make'!

Another quick internet search yielded some a DIY post from Spabettie, dachshund lover extraordinaire, who has some very nice instructions for making this uber cute felt dog using only embroidery thread, scissors, a needle, stuffing and felt!

Here's a tip in making the template for your dog. Find a photo of your dog taken from the side, print it out on regular paper and trace their outline to make a great template for use in this DIY project.

Classic Hound also has some great instructions that you may want to check out, too.

Enjoy, have fun, and remember to reuse old materials you have around the house if you can!

Photo courtesy of Spabettie.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!: Which is healthier for your dog and the environment?

Every year we get a lot of emails asking...'which is more environmentally friendly, a real or artificial Christmas tree?'

Ahhhh, the age old question. There are several ways to think about which may be better not only for the environment, but for the health of you and your dog too!

Some pros and cons...

Artificial tree pros:

  • Artificial trees can be used year after year, saving a precious tree from being cut down and quickly discarded.
  • No water is needed to maintain an artificial tree.
  • Artificial trees save money over time, in purchasing trees and local transportation costs.

Artificial tree cons:

  • Most artificial trees are manufactured utilizing metals and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which are non-biodegradable, petroleum-based plastics, and most are imported from China which creates a high carbon footprint, and more expense overall. Some older versions may also contain lead. 
  • This means that they are not recyclable and will sit in a landfill long after we are gone from our planet.

Real trees pros:

  • Most trees that your purchase from roadside stands, grocery stores and home improvement stores come from Christmas tree farms, where they maintain sustainable practices by replanting their farms every year to satisfy demand for years to come.
  • More trees planted means increased environmental health for our planet by cleaning the air.
  • If you purchase from a local tree farm you are supporting local businesses within your community.
  • And the most important part is real trees are recyclable (through treecycling) and utilized for a wide variety of uses locally. And they can be utilized as mulch for your garden, or compost material.

Real tree cons:

  • It's possible that your local tree farm may utilize harmful chemicals, pesticides and insecticides if they aren't growing organically.
  • There is an increased cost for you from purchasing a new tree, year after year. Unless of course you live in the mountains with lots of land like we do, and have plenty of pine trees right out your back yard that are perfectly suitable for use as a Christmas tree.
  • Real trees can be messier and do require water for maintenance.

So what is our choice and recommendation after weighing the pros and the cons?

We recommend purchasing a real tree from a local organic tree farm!

With this option you will not be exposing your family and your dog (and pets) to any unnecessary and dangerous chemicals. And as your tree grows in preparation to adorn you home, you will be contributing to cleaner air. In addition, overall there is a reduced carbin footprint and you won't eventually be contributing to landfills.

Once Christmas is over, either get out your wood chipper and shred your tree, utilizing it for mulch for your flower beds and gardens; or participate in the thousands of treecycling programs to help create mulch for your local playgrounds, hiking paths and community landscaping. To find treecycling programs in your area, search Earth911.org.

Images courtesy of trekkyandy, noricum, anneh632 and sdminor81 on Flickr.
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