If youre a dog parent, you know that cleaning up after your pup is a must. The big question, though, is how to dispose of your dogs poop. At first, it might sound like a no-brainer. Since poop is completely natural and biodegradable, you probably assume that throwing it in the garbage (usually wrapped in a biodegradable doggie bag) is no big deal. Unfortunately, thats not actually the case. Read on to discover why this tactic isnt great for the environment, and what you should do instead.
The Problem with Biodegrading
The truth is, even completely compostable items do not biodegrade when they are placed in landfills, as theres no oxygen present to kickstart the process. So, neither your dogs droppings nor the biodegradable doggie bag are going to break down completely if theyre relegated to the garbage.
Another issuewhen poop breaks down (if it gets the chance to do so at all), it releases methane gas. This is precisely why (well, one reason why) factory farms are such a huge burden for the environment.
What About Flushing?
The EPA, on the other hand, recommends flushing your dogs poo down the toilet. However, this comes with some pretty big problems, too. Water isnt exactly an expendable resource, and with water waste being a huge problem, most of us dont want to waste the 1.6 gallons of water we use every time we flush the toilet.
Additionally, many states here in the U.S. (especially California) are currently in a state of drought. Water conservation is an important practice, and flushing the toilet every time your dog poops is hardly environmentally friendly.
What You Should Do Instead
If you have a small dog and can conceptually use the toilet to dispose of his or her droppings, Grist recommends doing to in one swoop. Wait until youve used the toilet yourself, close the lid, head out to the yard to gather some waste, and flush it all together (provided there isnt way too much stuff in the toilet!).
Another option is to set up a pet waste digester. The Bark recommends punching holes in an old garbage can, cutting off the bottom and positioning it in your yard away from areas where you generally spend time (so as to eliminate the presence of unpleasant smells). Add a septic starter and a little water to the concoction, and throw doggie do in as needed. The holes poked into the bin will allow oxygen to degrade the matter, and eventually, itll provide a nice layer of compost for the yard area around it. Just make sure not to use this compost in your veggie garden!
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.