Northside SF  

Staff Picks: Earth-friendly gifts for your pet
By C. Beckman

Green is the color of the holiday season: holly, wreaths, trees, and, of course, the money we fork over for all those gifts. How about making the season eco-green as well with earth-friendly gifts for your favorite pets? You can find these items at one of my favorite shops, The Animal Connection II.

Nature Naps
West Paw Designs makes all their products in Bozeman, Montana, incorporating reclaimed and organic materials in a manufacturing process that minimizes waste.
The company has diverted 198 tons of plastic bottles into their products so far. Nature Naps are their durable, machine washable, fleecy-soft dog mats that use filling made from those recycled bottles – the “How green?” tags attached show just how many go into each cushy mat. Sizes XS–XL, $20–$64.

Crunchy Critters
Here’s a more direct method for recycling your plastic bottles into pet products. Most every dog lover has seen how dogs love to play with empty soda bottles – well now you can insert one into a sturdy fabric “critter” and let you dog play safely with its new “crunchy” friend. Squeakers in the fabric add even more excitement to the bushy-tailed bottle wraps. $11.

Himalyan Dog Chews
When a Peace Corps volunteer in the Himalayas adopted an abandoned puppy, a hard cheese-like product consumed by the Nepali people ended up being the perfect teething chew. Made only of yak and cow milk, salt and lime juice, with no preservatives, the chews are fully digestible. The hard cheese is collected for these dog chews from rural community co-ops in Nepal with the same traditional methods used in making it for human consumption. Your dogs will be contributing to the Fair Trade economic development
of the world’s second poorest
nation while enjoying a good chew. $7.50–$11.

Caboodle Corrugated Cat Furniture
Let’s face it, cats love cardboard. The Caboodle cat habitat arrives as a stack of cardboard that you put together to create a spacious, three-story structure your cat can lounge on and play in. Manufactured in a corrugated paper plant, the carbon footprint from raw material to finished product is lower than low. Caboodles are made from 60 percent-recycled cardboard and nontoxic,
soy-based inks and contain no petroleum-based products. And best of all, the entire
habitat is 100 percent recyclable when your cat’s fancy turns elsewhere. $35.

Hemp mouse and organic catnip
Shelby the Hemp Mouse is
made from strong and durable hemp fiber, a renewable resource that is grown without pesticides and is biodegradable. Stuffed with organic catnip, Shelby is
an eco-conscious cat’s dream come true. Or indulge your kitty’s wild side with a bag of pure catnip or a bottle of catnip spray
(made from the essential oil of catnip buds and distilled water) to revive those older catnip toys. $4–$10.

NatureMill pet-friendly composter
You won’t find this one at Animal Connection, but it could be your backyard’s new best friend: a safe and ecological solution for pet waste, cat litter and cage bedding that also takes kitchen scraps. Invented in San Francisco, this computerized composter makes rich mulch from up to 120 pounds of waste per month, using only 5 kwh of energy. It retails for $399, but get a group of three or more together, and you can save 15 percent while you help save the planet.

The Animal Connection II Marina
District: 2419 Chestnut Street (at Divisadero),
The Animal Connection II Polk District: 1677 Washington Street (at Polk), 415-673-0473
NatureMill: 415-233-4946,

– C. Beckman

Bookmark and Share Print Page

September 2011 Issue


Horse Shoe Tavern Amici's East Coast Pizzeria


Alfreds Alfred's Steakhouse

Getting to know the Reillys June Top Picks
Copyright © 2005 - 2008 NorthSide San Francisco