At our weekly staff meeting, the Sarah the Pet Sitter team brainstorms ways to pursue our eco-friendly mission. For the pet owner who wants to develop green practices, we seek to be a resource. So let’s just get right down to it: DOG DOO. How do you dispose of it?
Because dog waste is not fertilizing like cow manure, it carries disease and must not be added to the compost pile. Sarah the Pet Sitter does not litter, so we pick up after our clients’ dogs every time, and we don’t mind it–we are happy to care for our community and planet!
Where the jury is still out is on how to get rid of it. Most often Sarah the Pet Sitter picks up with plastic grocery or newspaper bags, reducing by reusing. That bag still ends up in a landfill, however it’s better than having two bags in a landfill! We certainly advocate reusing a plastic bag instead of buying brand new bags just for dog poo. (But there’s always an exception: you may not have those on hand if you use reusable grocery sacks.)
Another option is the biodegradable bag, but it is hard to know how long and under what conditions the store bought poo bags will biodegrade. Also “biodegradable” simply means an object naturally falls apart into its base components, but they may not actually be eco-friendly. It can still pollute ground water in small bits. Compostable bags require the base components be organic compounds, so they are less harmful when degraded–however this does not mean the dog poo inside can be added to your regular compost pile! The drawback to compostable and biodegradable bags is that it takes more water and fossil fuels to manufacture them compared to a regular plastic bag. Paper bags also use more resources when made than plastic, however once degraded they are less toxic.
If you are curious about green poo bags, here is a great dogster.com article reviewing a few brands. Do you have a solution to share in the comments? We’d love to hear it.