My journey towards a carbon-neutral and sustainable dog daycare and product business
In the title I use the word ‘journey’. And when you read on, you’ll see that it has been exactly that. When I started planning my doggy daycare business, I always knew that I wanted it to have as little impact on the environment as possible.
‘I’ll find a way’. This was my motto for a while until all the pieces fell into place. Little did I realise at the very beginning that I’d be launching a sister company too.
The creation of the daycare field and resting area
From the outset I focussed on reducing, reusing, and recycling. After all, the dogs won’t care if not everything is new – all they care about is being looked after, running, sniffing, digging and being comfortable when they sleep.
The dogs are kept safe thanks to the tall wooden and metal fence around the field where they play freely. We actually brought the wooden fence with us from a previous house when we found out the new owners didn’t want it. The metal fence was purchased, but requires no maintenance so now it’s up it’s here to stay!
To make sure the dogs have enough equipment to keep them stimulated, agility equipment was made by my husband, using other bits of wood that we had lying around. Much better than sending it to landfill, don’t you agree?
And when the dogs are in need of a rest, or when it gets too hot out, they head for the stables. We acquired this outbuilding when we moved in, they’ve been here for 15 years and used to house horses. With a bit of TLC, they were soon in tip-top condition and the dogs love it.
Other bits and pieces, such as blankets and cushions have been previously loved by either myself and my dogs or generously donated by customers and family.
Disposing of the poop: Discovering a new business!
There’s no getting around it, dogs poop. So, in a day, there can be quite a lot to pick up. Finding plastic-free dog poo bags isn’t too difficult, but it was really hard to find bags that weren’t produced abroad.
But I didn’t give up. This determination to source plastic-free without the impact of air miles led me to develop a sister company for County Hounds called The Poo Bag Club – soon to launch in September 2021! After a lot of research, I eventually found a company that manufactured the bags I wanted right here in the UK.
The bags are made from corn starch and compostable meaning that they will break down naturally in less than 6 months. Plus, they won’t leach micro-plastics into the atmosphere or the watercourse when decomposing like other bags.
To encourage others to switch to sustainable, planet-friendly, bags, The Poo Bag Club will provide dog owners with a monthly subscription. Having the bags delivered to homes, and never running out, is the perfect solution for dog owners, walkers or anyone else who runs a doggy business. All packaging, including the labels, is plastic-free too.
The Poo Bag Club launches this September – watch this space!
My electric van
My intention was always to buy an electric van as soon as I could to significantly reduce the business’ carbon footprint. So just after a couple of years of running the Country Hounds daycare for dogs I finally purchased one. A simple plug-in every evening enables me to pick up the energetic dogs from their homes every morning and drop them off after a day of playing and having fun in the afternoon without the need for fuel.
Country Hounds Online Shop: Eco-friendly dog toys, treats, shampoos and more
I’ve sourced the best toys and products for your dogs and made sure that every item has been made sustainably. Knowing that the health of the planet was considered when these items were made makes them even more special, and so much better for your dogs too.
Everything that is ordered is sent out using compostable and/or recyclable materials. This has an added bonus of keeping postage costs down.
We still have a little way to go to make Country Hounds carbon-free, but we’ll get there. We’ll find a way. Our values are strict, and we are committed to only work with and supply goods from companies who share our values.
If you’ve any great ideas or have seen something that you think we’d love to see, please let me know.
Thank you for caring too.