As a responsible dog owner, you’re probably already courteous enough to clean up after your dog, something everyone appreciates.
Eco-Friendlier Ways to Clean up After Your Dog
As a responsible dog owner, you’re probably already courteous enough to clean up after your dog, something everyone appreciates. The very act of removing your dog’s waste from yards or patches of grass off city sidewalks or dog parks goes a long way toward protecting public health, and making your community a nicer place to live.
Most of us feel like we’re doing a good job going green because we reuse the plastic bags we get from the grocery store to pick up and dispose of dog poop. The problem is, the poop doesn’t just go away. While your neighborhood is cleaner, the unfortunate results are tons of dog poop, individually wrapped in plastic bags, piling up in landfills, unable to degrade and return to the earth.
Fortunately, there are plenty of greener solutions to the dog poop problem. Here are some we’ve found:
Biodegradable poop bags
If you live in a city high-rise with no outdoor space, bagging the dog poop and putting it in a garbage can may be your greenest option. But instead of reusing plastic grocery bags, use biodegradable poop bags like BioBag for dog poop, and reusable shopping bags for shopping. Then no plastic bags are used. The dog poop will still end up in a landfill, but it at least has a shot at disintegrating.
Flushable poop bags
If you can get past the ick factor of bringing your dog’s poop inside, a flushable poop bag like Flusheze may be a better option. Your dog’s waste gets disposed of down the toilet, through the city’s sewer system. It’s greener, and your garbage cans will smell better.
Now, what if you could flush without bringing the dog poop inside? The Powerloo connects to your sewer line from outside your house. You just scoop the poop and flush it from your yard. No bags needed.
A waste digester, such as the Doggie Dooley is about the size of a bucket, which you bury in your yard. You open the lid, put the dog poop in, add an enzyme and water once a week. The waste liquefies and returns to the earth.
This is a very green method that comes highly recommended by environmentalists – as long as you do it right. Cityfarmer.org shows you how to make a composting system. It works like a waste digester, but if you choose, you can add yard waste to it, and use it as fertilizer – but only on non-edible plants. The compost should never be mixed in soil that’s growing food.
Worm farming may be the most natural, practical and green way to get rid of dog poop, and you can even do it without a yard. It also can be a way to dispose of your organic kitchen waste, such as potato peels and apple cores. Worms eat the waste, digest it, and eliminate the odor. The worm poo can be used as a soil conditioner, and the liquid that drains from the worm farm can be used for fertilizer in your yard or garden – but not where you grow food. Wormtec, an Australian company, recommends the Worm Swag because it’s so compact and easy to use, especially for novices. According to Wormtec, if you feed the worms both pet waste and veggie waste, you should also provide a high carbon source such as newspaper or leaves. Thus, disposing of dog waste with a worm farm also helps you go green with other types of waste, naturally.
Some of these options may not be practical depending on where you live or your lifestyle. There is no perfect way to get rid of dog poop, but if you try a greener method than you’re using now – that’s a start!
*Waste Characterization Study, City and County of San Francisco, Department of the Environment.
All claims regarding product materials and functionality in the above article are those made by the respective manufacturers and are not claims made by Purina or Petfinder.