Monday, October 15, 2007

Biodegradable "Poop" Bags

Some of you may have noticed the Blog Action Day banner on my blog recently. Some of you may have clicked on it and discovered that Blogger is promoting something called Blog Action Day. Today, October 15th, is Blog Action Day and the issue this year is the environment. Every blogger that registered to take part in Blog Action Day, currently 15,175 blogs, agreed to publish a post focusing on their topic and the environment. I thought it would be interesting to write a post about our dogs and the environment.

If, like me, you like in a less rural area and do not have a fenced back yard, you probably walk your dog at least twice a day. The average dog can produce 274 pounds of waste each year. Assuming your dog goes to the bathroom twice a day that is two plastic bags per day every day of the year. This ends up being at a minimum 730 plastic bags annually per dog – if not more depending on what your dog has gotten into!

There are 4 trillion to 5 trillion nondegradable plastic bags used worldwide annually (1 trillion is equal to 2 million millions!). 430,000 gallons of oil is needed to produce 100 million (not trillion, mind you) nondegradable plastic bags. Many people feel it is foolish to purchase bags when supermarkets supply them so readily. However, each supermarket plastic bag is nondegradable and costs 2 to 3 cents compared to a biodegradable bag which ranges anywhere from 5 to 10 cents. Not that big of a difference.

So, it appears we as dog owners who care about the environment have a couple of options, use biodegradable bags or carry a pooper scooper while we walk. While there is one man in my town who does walk with a pooper scooper (eco-gods love him), my dog is not guaranteed to be calm enough for that. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can click and treat and carry a pooper scooper. As a result, I resort to the BioBag Dog poop bags. These bags are made from corn and are compostable.

The next ideal step to take would be to create a composting spot in your yard. Since I rent this is not currently an option. Another option is the Doggie Dooley carried by Drs Foster and Smith. The Doggie Dooley is an in ground container that acts as a mini-septic system.

Ultimately as our world becomes more and more congested, we have to do our part to make sure that our world stays livable. One way we can help to do that is by giving up the convenience of plastic bags. Pay a couple of dollars more for biodegradable bags and make a conscience effort to do a small part towards helping our environment stay healthy. Of course I will be the first to acknowledge that biodegradable bags aren’t perfect – stick them in a landfill and it will take them longer to degrade, but it is a start.


Dog Waste Composting Guide

Only Natural Pet Store - BioBag reseller

Reusable Bags – Facts and Figures

WorldWatch Institute


AgiltyNerd also took part in Blog Action Day. Read his post on Outdoor Compact Fluorescent Floodlights, this would be useful for those who have an outdoor area and lights. (jealous!)

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