Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An Earth Day Confession

Part of having a dog friendly garden includes picking up after the dogs, a task that I am a little obsessive about...I'm sure my neighbors have wondered about me chasing after my dogs with a plastic bag covered hand while cheerfully saying "Go Potty". I just can't stand the thought of letting it all pile up and cleaning up only once a week.

We always have a bag in our pockets for walks through the neighborhood, I can't imagine leaving a mess in one of my neighbors yards. However, the neighbor dogs and cats seem to have no problem using our front garden as the community toilet, but that is a rant for a future post!

Something I had not thought about before was what really happened to the mess once it was bagged and put into the trash. I did not think about it being tied up in a bag to never decompose. I have thought about buying the special dog pick up bags, but being fairly frugal I just use what bags I come across; we get at least one every day with our newspaper that is perfect for poop patrol.

Looking around online I found many options for biodegradable pick up bags...Clean Air Gardening has lots of Eco Friendly gardening products, and Poopbags.com even has a Poop Bag Gift Pack; wouldn't that be a charming gift for the neighbor who doesn't clean up!

Many people compost their dogs waste...but I'm not entirely sold on that idea. We compost all of our vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, paper towels, lawn clippings, and waxed paper, and we send all of our yard debris out to be composted by the city, but I can't get over the yuck factor when thinking about composting poop. There is a composter called a Doggie Doolie that is designed for home composting dog waste, and if your pack is large, the UDSA Natural Resources Conservation Service has a publication titled "Composting Dog Waste" that may have more information in it than you ever want to know.

Why not just let the poop sit where it falls and decompose naturally? Well it can be full of lots of bad stuff, not to mention the smell and appearance! Check out the Tualatin River Keepers site for more information on poop pollution.

Looks can be deceiving...I'm not too cute to poop!

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