Here's the thing about pets. They're cute and fluffy but terrible for the environment.

Feeding a medium-sized dog for a year leaves twice the carbon footprint as driving an SUV 16,000km, say researchers at Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. When you also consider the waste from tinned pet food and the two million tonnes of cat litter sent to landfills each year, our four-legged friends aren't looking too good.

Hongkonger Elisa Fu Hiu-chi is trying to lessen our cute companions' toll on the environment with BeWell, a project that turns used pet food tins into chic candles. Pet owners are asked to clean the tins and drop them off at candle maker BeCandle (Glue Associates, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, tel: 3586 0320).

There they are recycled into DIY candle kits, each of which also includes an old glass bottle and eco-friendly palm beads - certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil - that serve as "wax" and can be poured into the bottle and tin and topped with the provided wicks.

All of the profit from the packs, which each cost HK$180, will be donated to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Donors can register for a free pilates class at The Yoga Room, in Sheung Wan, where Fu is an instructor.

"I adopted two cats from the SPCA eight years ago and they had a rare condition," says Fu. "Dr Jamie Gallagher's [an SPCA vet who left Hong Kong this year] work really touched me. She went the extra mile to treat my cats, so I wanted to give back.

"Luckily, BeCandle is into animal welfare and wants a greener planet, too."

For more details, email [email protected] or visit