Owning a dog is a rewarding experience. Not only does petting a dog reduce your blood pressure, but also dogs in general, make wonderful companions. Any new dog owner knows the trials and tribulations involved with raising your new pet. Dogs need constant guidance and affection, requiring hours of playtime and long walks, not to mention, picking up after them.
Let’s face it: No one enjoys picking up after his or her dog. Many towns and cities have enacted bylaws forcing dog owners to stoop and scoop after their dogs. Not picking up after your dog can produce untended consequences. For instance, not removing your dog's waste in areas where children play can expose them to parasites and bacterial infections. Dog waste can also transmit diseases to other people's pets. However, while much of the focus has been on removing fecal matter from public places, less attention has been paid to the bags used for disposing of a dog’s ‘doo. How often do we as dog owners stop to question what stooping and scooping with a plastic bag is doing for the environment?
Picking up after your dog three times a day with a plastic bag, puts on average over one thousand bags a year into the landfill! It takes plastic bags anywhere from tens of years to over a thousand years to fully decompose. To make matters worse, the process of decomposition releases an exorbitant amount of Co2 into the atmosphere. According to Time for Change, the carbon footprint of plastic (LDPE or PET, polyethylene) bags is approximately, six kilograms of Co2 per kg of plastic. Think about the number of times you are forced to stoop and scoop after your dog; that’s a lot of Co2!
Thankfully, there are a number of alternative eco-friendly options for dog owners to consider.
BioBag: Created by an Italian research company, Novamont, this bag is made of Mater-Bi, the first completely biodegradable and compostable biopolymer. This bio plastic reduces gas emissions and the consumption of energy and non-renewable resources. As it biodegrades, no pollutants are released and it is packaged in recyclable cardboard.
Earth Rated Poop Bags: A Canadian brand offering biogradable doggy bags naturally scented with lavender and rolled onto a recycled-paper core. These bags are formulated to biodegrade within 2 years!
Flush Doggy: This brand of doggy bags offer a water-soluble poop bag that’s not only biodegradable, but also flushable. It’s made of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), a water-soluble synthetic polymer that is odorless, non-toxic, fully degradable, and dissolvable.
PoopBags: Made in the United States, this bag is made of composed renewable resources such as corn, and is packaged in recyclable cardboard. The company also takes steps to reduce the remittance of Co2 by allocating shorter transportation times.
As dog owners and consumers, it important to take into consideration, how raising your dog affects the planet. So next time you reach to stoop and scoop after your pet, reach for an environmentally friendly doggy bag; you’ll be reducing your Co2 footprint one stoop at a time.
You will save the Earth by sharing and/or tweeting (corny right?)