Hop to It! Lower Your Carbon Footprint with a Pet Rabbit

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A pet rabbit is one of the most environmentally friendly pets you can own. Photo: Paula Felps

A pet rabbit is one of the most environmentally friendly pets you can own. Photo: Paula Felps

The popularity of rabbits as household pets has risen in recent years, but most pet owners don’t know that in addition to being cute, a rabbit is one of the most environmentally friendly pets around. Whether you’re considering adding a bunny to your house or already have one, you might be interested to learn some of the ways they can help reduce your carbon footprint:

• Rabbits are good for composting. Unlike carnivorous pets, the droppings produced by veggie-loving rabbits contain large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus — both of which are essential for flower and fruit production. You can use compost made from both their recycled paper litter and their droppings to fertilize your garden and other plants.

• Bunnies cut down on food waste. Some of a rabbit’s favorite foods are those you would typically toss: the leafy green tops of carrots and celery, the center of a pineapple, the base of a head of lettuce, cauliflower leaves, raspberry and strawberry leaves, broccoli stalks and much more. You’ll be amazed at how much food waste is reduced when there’s a bunny in the house to help clean up after a meal.

• Your recyclables = a rabbit’s toys. Some of a rabbit’s favorite toys are items that you would normally recycle. Cardboard boxes, used toilet paper rolls, outdated phone books and other paper/cardboard items can keep a bunny happy and busy for hours.

• Bunnies can help with weeds, too. Dandelions might be the bane of every homeowner, but dandelion greens are one of a rabbit’s favorite foods. You can weed the yard yourself, or on a nice day, put your bunny outside (use a portable pen to keep him from running away) and let him help. Your yard will look better, your bunny will thank you and you’ll have one more reason not to use toxic weed killers on your plants.