Animal shelters across the country are going green. We talked to a few to see how their environmentally friendly upgrades are benefitting their animals and their businesses.

Want to go green on Earth Day with your pet? Pick up some tips from the pros!

Be Green and Healthy

Tobi Kosanke, owner of Crazy K Farm Poultry and Livestock in Hempstead, Texas — a nonprofit shelter for dogs, cats, and farm animals — takes environmental awareness seriously. Waste laundry water, for example, is recycled into the septic system, and the farm grounds are maintained without pesticides. This ensures that rescue animals have safe, natural feed and clean water.

"We live in Texas, which is not, historically, an environmentally friendly state. Development is moving at a rapid pace toward us from Houston, and I strongly feel we need to do our little part to be as green as possible and set an example," said Kosanke in an interview with Petcentric.

Using the Power of the Sun

The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas takes in more than 43,000 animals a year.

Despite their busy schedule, the animal-loving staff also cares about Mother Nature and has chosen to power a portion of their facility with a renewable resource: the sun.

"We have solar panels in our dog adoption bungalows that feed back into the grid and offset our energy costs by giving us credit toward our monthly electric bill," Meghan Scheibe, marketing and PR manager for the organization, explained in an interview with Petcentric.

You can enjoy these savings at home, too. This Earth Day, you can add solar panels to keep your energy usage green and economical — the cost can often be offset by tax deductions. Your pets will gladly keep you company as you work.

Now It's Your Turn

With these great organizations as inspiration, it's time to get green. Here are just a few tips to get you and your pet on the right track:

  • Make sure your cat's litter box is as green as possible. Head to the pet store to pick out biodegradable cat litter. When you take your dog for a walk, use biodegradable bags to pick up his waste.
  • And speaking of walks, make sure your dog stays on-leash during nature walks and hikes. The temptation to let your dog run free may be strong, but allowing him to do so could damage delicate — and even endangered — plants.
  • Use white vinegar to sanitize kennels, pens, surfaces, and cages where pets live and play. Since vinegar is non-toxic, your pets can stay in the room during cleaning time.
  • When winter weather hits, switch to an environmentally friendly de-icer. Not only will it be better for the environment, it will be better for your pet's digestion and delicate paws. Chemical deicers can hurt your pup's or kitty's paws and can be harmful if ingested.

How will you spend Earth Day with your pet? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments!