As dog owners, we all know the importance of regularly picking up after our furry friends. However, it’s not just about keeping our streets and parks clean – it’s also about protecting the environment. Traditional methods of dog waste disposal, such as plastic bags, can take years to break down in landfills and can have harmful effects on wildlife. That’s why it’s crucial to choose eco-friendly options for dog poop disposal. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best sustainable alternatives for keeping our planet and our pooches healthy and happy. Cheers to zero waste pups!
Why Should We Dispose of Pet Waste in an Eco Friendly Way?
There are several reasons why dog owners should dispose of pet waste in an eco friendly way:
- Health and Safety: Pet waste can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can be harmful to human health, especially for children and pets. Proper disposal helps to reduce the risk of spreading diseases and infections.
- Environmental Protection: Pet waste can contribute to water pollution when left in open spaces or not disposed of properly. When pet waste ends up in waterways, it can increase the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, leading to eutrophication and the death of aquatic life.
- Conservation of Natural Resources: Eco-friendly pet waste disposal methods, such as composting, help to conserve natural resources, as they reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
- Responsibility: Pet owners have a responsibility to dispose of their dog’s waste properly, as pet waste is considered to be a form of litter. By practicing eco-friendly disposal methods, pet owners can be good stewards of the environment and set a positive example for others to follow.
Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags
I realize biodegradable dog poop bags are probably not the MOST sustainable option for pet waste disposal, but they are definitely the most realistic. The majority of pet owner’s are already using pet waste bags, but they tend to use traditional plastic bags.
It’s also important to understand that the term “biodegradable” is a bit of a grey area. If we throw biodegradable dog poop bags or compostable dog poop bags into the trash can, they end up in the landfill just like their plastic bag counterparts.
These bags are made from biodegradable materials, such as cornstarch or plant-based materials, and break down over time in a landfill, reducing the amount of plastic waste.
Things don’t break down in the landfill, even if they are compostable. That’s because compostable items need oxygen to break down and waste is packed so tightly in the landfill that we are really just preserving our waste if you think about it.
That being said, I still believe using a biodegradable pet waste bag is better than using a plastic dog poop bag. The majority of these eco friendly dog poo bags are made with renewable resources rather than fossil fuels.
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Here are a few highly recommended biodegradable/compostable pet waste bags for you to check out:
Paper Bags for Pet Waste Clean Up
Another good option for eco friendly dog poop disposal is to use paper bags. These are a little less practical in comparison to the biodegradable and compostable bags, but a great option nonetheless. You could use paper bags or even some newspaper would work just as easily. What’s nice about using a paper bag is that you can compost the bag with the pet waste.
Composting Dog Poo
Did you know you can compost your dog’s poop? Yep, it’s possible! However, you don’t want to mix your pet waste with your other at home compost piles. You will need to compost your pet waste separately. You need a separate compost heap because pet waste can contain harmful pathogens. Your home compost doesn’t get hot enough to kill those harmful organisms.
They actually make a pet waste compost tank system called a Doggie Dooley. Pet waste digesters are a simple way to divert pet waste from the landfill.
The composting process for pet waste involves maintaining the correct balance of moisture, air, and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. Once the composting process is complete, the compost can be safely used in gardens and landscapes without the risk of spreading harmful bacteria and parasites.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually recommends that the best way to dispose of your dog’s poop is by flushing it down the toilet. In this way, it will be treated at a sewage treatment plant. This is a much better option than leaving your pet’s waste out where it could possibly pollute local bodies of water.
A reminder, this is the best option for those on a municipal sewer system. If you have a septic tank, you should not flush your pet waste down the toilet. If you have a septic system, it’s better to use some of the other pet waste disposal options we shared above.
I have seen several options for flushable dog poop bags. However, I believe it’s better to flush pet waste without the bag. Flushable bags are notorious for clogging plumbing. I really think it’s best not to flush anything other than toilet tissue down the drain.
In conclusion, eco friendly dog poop disposal is a crucial aspect of pet ownership. It also plays a significant role in maintaining a clean and healthy environment. With the increasing concern for the environment, it’s essential to adopt practices that reduce the environmental impact of pet waste.
The good news is we have a variety of options for disposing of pet waste in a sustainable way. Biodegradable poop bags, composting, and flushing are some of the eco friendly options for disposing of dog poop that pet owners can adopt. Additionally, pet owners can also educate themselves about the importance of proper waste disposal and encourage others to adopt eco-friendly practices as well. By doing so, you will be a responsible dog owner and contribute to a cleaner, greener, and healthier planet for future generations.
What’re your thoughts? What do you think is the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of pet waste?