A few weeks ago we added this lovely bundle of fur to our family. She is simply lovely.
However, it got me thinking… what happens to all the poo from the 870,000 pet dogs in the UK? ‘Bag it and bin it’ of course. There’s no such thing as the poo fairy.
Hang on, wait… bag poo? and throw it in the bin? Firstly… smelly bin. Secondly… how many plastic bags??
Based on 800,000 responsible dog owners (lets assume that maybe 70,000 are manky and let the poos go rogue on the footpaths), that’s 584 MILLION poos a year just in the UK based on two poos a day for 365 days a year.
“Oh, but it’s ok!” I hear you say. “The poo bags are biodegradable”. But are they actually? Having followed my conscience and looked into this, there are a few types of ‘biodegradable poo bag’:
1) Cheapest = degradable plastic that breaks down when in prolonged contact with either oxygen or sunlight. This breaks down into those micro plastics we were talking about that are infiltrating our rivers. Oh.Then I found out that actually when tossed into landfill with every other piece of household waste, the bags don’t have contact with enough sunlight or oxygen to biodegrade so what are we left with? Mountains of mummified dog poo trapped in plastic bags for future generations to curse us for. Sorry kids.
2) More expensive = processed corn starch bags. Fully biodegradable. Actually these seem to be ok on the breaking down front as they are made of corn film but most do still have some plastic in. But as with anything ethical, they cost more. Maybe good for out and about in urban areas.
So for home garden poops, we have invested in A DOGGIE DOOLEY! What?! It’s a glorified poo hole dug into the garden, with a closable lid to prevent stinky smells, or dogs and children from accessing. You scoop the poop up with a trowel, toss it in the poo hole, and once a month or so sprinkle some enzyme stuff it comes with to break it all down nice and quickly so the hole doesn’t fill up.
Sounds good, but of course it’s made of PLASTIC argh! You could be all eco and build your own with wood or something, but to be honest we just don’t have the time. But it’s not single use plastic, and it’s not going into the sea, and it will still save us close to 12,000 poo bags if we succeed in keeping her alive for the average lifespan of cocker spaniel.
This is an experiment. So we shall see if it works.
So far, so good. And we don’t have a full, stinky bin.
If you like this then please share… if every person can even convince just one more friend to change their habits, we’ll be on our way to a better future.