Eco-Friendly Ways of Disposing of Dog Waste
Hey! This post came about due to the Plastic-Free July movement, and was originally meant to be written in July but we can see how well that went. Although, it could be a good thing as it keeps eco-friendly and plastic free at the front of our minds. I think disposing of dog waste has to be one of the biggest struggles I have had with retaining a plastic free lifestyle. Dog waste is not something that we really want to spend too long touching or dealing with, so therefore it doesn’t come up in our minds very much either. Let me be honest in saying, that I haven’t really found the perfect answer yet, but have found some options that I don’t absolutely hate.
Dog waste at the home is the easiest to deal with, comparative to that that occurs on dog walks. There are multiple options, and most of them are not too disgusting or time consuming.
What I used to do, and what I feel like lots of families do is use one supermarket plastic bag and use it until it is filled up. This does mean that you are still using plastic, so that’s a downside, but you are also utilising that plastic to the utter most limit. With Diego, this is a couple of weeks worth of poo to one bag. For bigger, or for multiple dogs it could just be a weeks worth. Another downside is that you either have to only pick up dog poo weekly/fortnightly or you have to keep a bag of dog crap somewhere on your property for the same period. Both options are not the most pleasant, but I would say the latter is my option.
I have recently converted over to this technique, which I admit is a lot more time consuming, and would only be realistic for a small property. I have been picking up his waste and putting it straight into the toilet. This means there is no use of plastic, and you can clean up the yard as you wish. This one takes a lot longer because you have to go from the yard, inside to the bathroom, and repeat. This one does use water though, so it’s one of those things that you have to weigh up what you care more about, plastic or water use.
At a local store, I found a dog waste composting system which is currently on my Wishlist for a future pay. This works by digging the system into your yard, or where you plant flowers (no human-consumption plants though). You then place the dog waste in, sprinkle some of their powder on it and supposedly it will then decompose nicely and make a nutrient rich soil. I talked to the woman at the store and she couldn’t speak more highly of the system. She said there is no smell which you would expect of a pile of poo decomposing in your yard, and that it actually decomposes. Once the system is full in that area, you can just move it to a new spot. I can’t speak of how well this works since I haven’t used it, but I personally think that this is an amazing idea and I will be trying it in the future.
When walking your dog I think it’s a lot harder. You obviously have to pick this waste up, without any apparatuses (unless you want to take them on a walk with you) and generally will have to carry it for a length of time. A lot of the hikes I go on do not have dog waste bins along the trail, or even at the entrance so we are often having to bring waste home too!
I currently don’t have the best option for this type of waste removal. I still use plastic bags, however I have been using a range of eco-friendly, biodegradable bags. I have currently a couple of rolls of bags in rotation (I have found having multiple bag holders, one for each lead works better than swapping them out) some of them being Earth Rated. These ones supposedly can break down within 24 months, which is a much shorter lifetime than traditional bags. These ones also smell of lavender, which takes over any scent of poo no matter how long you hold the bag. It is actually incredible and changes the way I look at picking up dog poo, especially when I am out walking with non-dog people.
I know this post was a bit of a weird one, but I hope you enjoyed it, and potentially learnt something new. I think its good to make small steps towards being eco-friendly. Dog waste is something that always makes me feel bad about my plastic consumption, but I think making small steps every walk/poop is amazing. I really would love to hear what you do, or have read as to another option on how to deal with this!