Dog lovers greener than non-pet owners

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London: Dog-owning families have a lower carbon footprint than equivalent families without a dog. ThatÂ’s the conclusion of a new nationwide survey and in-depth study commissioned by ButcherÂ’s Pet Care.

It found that dog-owning families on average, use 5.4% (760kg per year) less carbon per person than the equivalent non-dog owning families – the yearly equivalent of a round trip to Cairo or Marrakesh. They are also happier in their local community and twice as likely to socialise with neighbours (16% as opposed to 8%).

The study polled over 1500 dog and non-dog owning families and questioned them about lifestyle choices, energy consumption, travel and transport habits. The respondentsÂ’ primary and secondary carbon footprints were then calculated. Results revealed that dog owning families fly, consume and waste less and are also more likely to buy local and recycle.

In fact owning a dog is six times greener than fitting a family home entirely with energy saving light bulbs which reduces a householdÂ’s carbon footprint by only 115kg/year compared to 760kg/year when owning a dog.

As two in ten homes own a dog[1] the entire population of manÂ’s best friend reduces the nationÂ’s carbon footprint by 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 every year, which is one and a half times the entire yearly output of Iceland!

Alison Cockcroft, from family owned Butcher’s Pet Care “As a nation we are always looking at ways to reduce our carbon footprint and it is great to see that dog ownership can really make a difference and help boost green credentials. Not only do our four legged friends keep us as ‘Fit as a Butcher’s Dog’ but they also give us a great excuse to explore our neighbourhood and get to know and support our local community. At Butcher’s Pet Care we believe in natural nutrition so not only can your dog lead a healthy life but he’ll ensure the planet stays healthy too!”

An overview of findings from the survey:

Air flights

Dog owning families are 20% less likely to fly than non-dog owning families. Preferring to holiday in the UK or drive to Europe instead.

Consumption and recycling

The consumption and recycling habits of dog owners is 7.5% more carbon friendly than the equivalent non-dog owning family. This equates to a reduction of 150kg a year, the same as driving 568 miles in a 1.6L Ford Focus.

· Dog owners are 1.4 times more likely to recycle everything (21% vs 15%) than non dog owners. 23% recycle or compost everything they use as opposed to 19% of families without a dog.

· Dog owners are more likely to buy locally produced food, fair-trade produce and in-season fruit and vegetables.

· 19% of dog owners only buy things with little or no packaging as opposed to 14% of non dog owners.

Not only will dog-owners spend less on their gas bills (ÂŁ403.71 as opposed to ÂŁ414.26 for non-dog owners) but they also seem happier in their local community too – 24% of dog owners are very happy compared to 19% of non dog owners. Dog owners are also twice as likely to socialise with their neighbours compared to non dog owners.

For more top tips on leading a green life and responsible dog ownership visit < ahref="http://www.butcherspetcare.com">www.butcherspetcare.com

About ButcherÂ’s Pet Care

Established and family-owned for over 25 years and developed in conjunction with leading nutritionists, ButcherÂ’s recipes are made with Fresh Meat and Nothing Artificial to ensure that your dog receives all the natural nutrition he needs. ButcherÂ’s Pet Care has a strong family heritage and farming roots and believe in simple, honest, good food; thatÂ’s why what is left out of food is just as important as what goes in. So it is guaranteed that there are no artificial colourings, flavourings, preservatives, or added cereal or soya in any of ButcherÂ’s delicious recipes!

Body cells younger than our years, say Swedish researchers

Parts of the body regenerate in days and others in years. This means that our bodies are younger than our birth certificate, according to Swedish scientists who have used carbon dating to make their findings.

Our bodies are weeks, years and even decades younger than our chronological age because cells and tissue regenerate, they say in a report in the New Scientist magazine.

The technique uses levels of a radioactive form of carbon called carbon-14 to gauge the age of objects.

Usually accurate only to between 30 and 100 years, carbon-14 dating has been refined by researchers at Sweden’s prestigious Karolinska Institute to be able to pinpoint the age of parts of the human body.

The team compared levels of the element in the human body with those in the atmosphere when nuclear weapons testing was at its height 50 years ago.

Factoring the length of time it takes carbon-14 to decay allowed them to accurately date various body parts.

They found the hardest-working cells had the shortest life, with some wearing out and being replaced within days.

Eyelashes and eyebrows are renewed in eight weeks, tastebuds every 10 days.

The lining of the gut has a lifespan of just five days, but muscles are much older – those of someone in their late 30s have an average of 15.1 years.

Professor Jonas Fisen has also been able to age some brain cells, revealing that those in the cerebellum, which co-ordinates movement, are about three years younger than we are.

Anti-ageing specialist Joe Kosterich said as we got older, our ability to regenerate became less efficient.

Dr Kosterich said: “It’s like taking a copy of a copy. Enzymes that work on our DNA become less effective as we age so you start to replace pristine healthy cells with ones not quite as good. The whole ageing process is very likely linked to the breakdown of restorative and repairing mechanisms in the body.”

The Swedish research suggests – if averaged out, someone in their late 30s would have a body just 15 1/2 years old.

They hope the research will help shed light on degenerative conditions linked to cell death, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Dr Kosterich said in the meantime, the best defence against ageing and to promote healthy cell regeneration was exercise and anti-oxidants.

“Although exercise actually causes the body to regenerate and repair more, it keeps our regenerative system ticking over so you are making a better copy of yourself, so to speak,” he said.

Dr Kosterich said the enzymes which assisted the regeneration of tissue and cells were adversely affected by toxins and anti-oxidants could help promote healthy tissue repair.

“In this case, it’s exercise first, anti-oxidants second, but you also have to live a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and weight maintenance,” he said.

Different body parts age at varying rates.These figures show the average age of the body parts of someone in their late 30s

Cerebellum 2.9 years

Eyelashes 2 months

Tastebuds 10 days

Bones 10 years

Surface of skin 2 weeks

Rib muscles 15.1 years

Gut 15.9 years

Gut lining 5 days

Red blood cells 4 months