Greening the Doo
By Leslie May and Johann, the dog, of RaiseAGreenDog.com
One of the ways a dog most negatively impacts the environment is with their doo. So how you take care of your dog’s waste is where you can have the most positive effect on your green dog’s environment. Did you know that in 2004, the American Pet Association estimated that the 71 million dogs in the US (at that time) produced over 4.4 billion pounds of waste every year? That’s enough to cover 900 football fields with 12 inches of dog waste. Now, that’s a lot of doo! With all this doo, we thought we’d highlight some of the green ways you can take care of your dog’s waste to keep our environment the healthiest you can.
Pick it up
The most important thing is to be sure and pick up the doo when you’re out and about, and away from home. Using an environmentally friendly pick up method, like biodegradable poo bags or some of the new flushable poo bags on the market, are the best methods when you’re away from home.
By using biodegradable bags you are reducing the time it takes for those bags to decompose in the landfill, helping out the environment. And by using the new flushable bags you can take the filled bags home and flush them, completely eliminating any contribution to landfills.
If the amount of waste your dog(s) eliminates is manageable, you can scoop up the doo from your backyard and take it inside and flush it down. This is how we dispose of the doo at our house. With two dogs under 30 lbs, it’s very manageable and a great way for us to completely eliminate our impact on the environment.
If you have more dogs with a larger amount of waste every day, check out these options.
One of the best green dog inventions on the market today is the Doggie Dooley. It’s a container that you bury in the ground, right in your own backyard. You add in your dog’s waste, along with the all natural and safe digestive enzymes. And voila, biodegrading begins to take place and your dog’s doo is returned back to nature. These products are great if you live in a milder climate, and you can make your own. But they only work well when the ground temperature is above freezing, so they may not be the best option if you live in a colder climate.
Doggie septic tanks
There is a new product recently introduced, doggie septic tanks. These devices are installed in your yard and hooked up to your septic system or waste drain pipe. After you scoop up your dog’s waste, you deposit it into the doggie septic tank and flush, just like you would in your inside loo. This does add to the usage of water resources, but may be a good option if you have a multiple, large dog household.
Another option to dispose of your dog’s waste is vermicomposting. Vermicomposting has been around for centuries and used for years to compost kitchen and yard waste. Now, we’ve seen a lot of green folks utilize this system for dog waste. Vermicomposting utilizes earthworms to â€˜work their magic on your organic matter (like your dog’s waste) and turn it into high quality compost and tea, which you can then use to fertilize your lawn and garden. We like the double duty of this method of dog waste disposal.
Summing up the doo
We hope these ideas help you make a more informed decision about how you can dispose of your dog’s doo. Remember, you don’t have to make a complete change overnight, try out some of these options and before you know it, you’ll find one that works well with your, and your dog’s lifestyle while helping the environment at the same time!
Over the next weeks we will be posting more detailed tips, information and processes to help you achieve a greener dog. So, stay tuned!
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