START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

The Straight Poop On Dog Poop (Green-Style, That Is)

The Straight Poop On Dog Poop (Green-Style, That Is)

We lost our dog and good friend Biscuit last week after a quick deterioration of her health. She was truly a noble creature, much more so than many humans I know, and I will miss her always.

Ironically, Biscuit was the subject of the first day’s post on my year-long trash experiment. It wasn’t a surprise, but I figured since the first morning of the first day of the experiment I was going to throw something in the trash can outside the house, I should be honest and cop to it. So, my first day’s post revolved around Biscuit’s poop.

Since her passing, I posted another piece on my newsletter in her honor and got some interesting responses concerning the disposal of dog waste. Probably not going to save the world with this post, but we may make it a little less stinky. So here’s what people had to offer.

Corn-Based Bags. We used these for about the last year and while they do run about $30 a year for the bags (dependent on the size of your dog and the amount of their output), I gladly paid it knowing that I wasn’t putting plastic bags into the landfill. That said, there has been some discussion about whether there is a large amount of methane released from the decomposition of these bags in landfills. The company says no, and others say yes. So the jury is still out on this one for me.

Plastic Bags. While this clearly is not the way to go (we don’t want to be adding plastic bags to the landfill after all), at least if this is your choice, re-use bags that were already headed there. If you are using reusables (which hopefully everyone is by now) check with a neighbor who tosses theirs and at least give them a second life. Truthfully, this isn’t really a solution, but it is a lesser evil nonetheless.

Worm Composters. I’ve read a bit about these and they basically work the same as my worm composter, with the noted exception that you put in ONLY dog excrement. I had been meaning to check into this, but frankly was a bit unnerved at the idea of a huge tray full of poop. Don’t know why worm poop doesn’t bother me and dog poop does, but hey, that’s me. If you don’t want to buy one, there are also online instructions on how to build your own.

In-Ground Composters. Now this is something that we tried a while back and it did not work at all, but I must confess that my sneaking suspicion is that it was due to operator error. You basically dig a 4-foot hole (not as simple as it sounds) and put the composter on top of it. Poop and enzymes go in, as well as some water, and over time, the little buggers break it all down. I’ve heard that these actually do work but there is a bit of care involved in maintaining them correctly, so be forewarned.

Leaving it or the old flaming bag on the door. While I’m not advocating either of these as sustainable solutions I did feel I should include them lest some faction of dog owners get upset over their omission.

The bottom line to me is this–you take responsibility for the dog’s health, feeding and shelter, you might as well take responsibility for its impact as well. And while most of us may look at dog poop as a negative side effect to animal ownership, perhaps we should look at the lighter side. San Francisco has seen it and they are turning theirs into fuel.

Finally, Biscuit, if you can read this (she was an extremely bright dog so my money says she can), thanks for all the good memories, yummy snorts, drive-by lickings, and for being the greatest dog a family could ever have. We miss you.

Read more: Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Pets, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Sustainable Dave, , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Dave Chameides

Dave Chameides is a filmmaker and environmental educator. His website and newsletter are designed to inspire thought and dialogue on environmental solutions and revolve around the idea that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. "Give people the facts, and they'll choose to do the right thing."

67 comments

+ add your own
8:41AM PST on Jan 5, 2011

I bury it. I have 2 bitches. Dig a deep hole and fill it up, with layers of sand in between as you fill it (or even better, use one the dog dug - s/he won't dig THERE again - not in their own excrement). Add some vegetable peelings as and when available, and let nature do her thing.

Dog poo contains mostly phosphates, so DONT put phosphates on ground you have dug it into. Other nutrients are needed to make it viable compost, but I notice that the grass re-grows over my buried dog-poop pretty quickly.

6:43PM PST on Nov 13, 2010

We moved to a house with a lawn, so all of the pets were content burying feces, which is promptly unearthed and bagged up for garbage. We have men come in once a month to do grass-cutting, etc since the grass is confined to borders, the main yard in front is cement. The cutters are familiar with various venomous snakes in the grass. Our jack Russel jumped up on one of the cutters backs and peed in his ear! He then while very quickly jumping up and down on his hind legs, hosed another one's trousers up and down. We got the poor guy's ear washed out, and everyone laughed about it. Kirby has not tried the same trick again, but of course none of the crew turn their backs on him either.

10:57AM PST on Nov 9, 2010

Sorry about Biscuit.

3:09AM PST on Nov 7, 2010

Love it and so true! If you don't want to take care of your pets DO NOT have them:-)

12:43AM PDT on Jun 17, 2010

Sad :(

10:44AM PDT on Aug 1, 2009

I have just adopted a little puppy (her name is Ginger Daisy) from the SPCA and this is helpful information for me. Thank you. Sorry to hear about Biscuit.

6:18PM PDT on Jul 27, 2009

Oh, I am sorry to hear your dog passed away. They say their spirit never leaves its owner once they pass...:)

I was out walking in the park & the city councel provides the biodegradable doggy bags in a roll for everyone to use gratis of the councel ! This I thought was amazing. I just noticed it.

Otherwise I take along some paper & wrap it in it & through it into the garden where there is tree leaf mulch etc & it will just compost away eventually.

This was a good article. Thankyou...:) Everything helps.

I like the idea of flushing it in the loo by Judy K. hehe...I never really thought of that. :)

1:54AM PDT on Jul 23, 2009

I am so sorry for your loss of biscuit

10:39AM PDT on Jul 22, 2009

My condolences on your loss. I am sure Biscuit added much to your lives. Plastic grocery bags, biobags from the pet store and doggydooley are great ways to dispose of doggy waste. Thank you for the additional ideas.

10:04AM PDT on Jul 22, 2009

Biscuit is watching over you now and will soon send you a new friend. Regardless of what we see, we are always alive.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

What about crude oil? LOL!

Interesting!! Especially about the Ants tyvm for sharing this.

YES! Do "get crafting" (or cooking, even.) #1 All those hand & wrist motions actually develope…

Don't trust Walmart. Full Stop. Any company that doesn't pay a living wage is very suspect when it s…

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.