Wednesday, April 21, 2010

POOP HAPPENS

It's almost Earth Day and I've been trying to come up with something to blog about that's even cooler than my Green video.

I was going to write about poop bags. Until I did some fact-checking with my man Stubby and he says there really isn't any way to make poop green. I mean, like, environmentally friendly Green.
The poop isn't really the problem (though it can spread germs and worms and stuff). The problem is the way poop gets contained. Y'know, the bags.

My human used to think it was a good idea to use plastic bags from the grocery store to scoop our poop. Re-use, right? Good for the environment, right? Noooo. Not when you combine poop & regular plastic bags!


Poop + Plastic Bag = Poop Tomb


You heard me - a poop tomb. It takes like a gazillion years for a plastic bag to decompose in landfills. Stick some poop in a plastic bag and you preserve it for eternity. Eeeew!! Now, there isn't a 100% perfectly green solution to the Poop Tomb. But there are two greener options: Bio Bags & Mutt Mitts.

BioBags are certifiably biodegradable and aren't as evil to make as regular plastic bags. It gets kinda complicated, but biodegradable might not be the greatest thing to be if you're a poop bag headed for the landfill. Bio-degradable stuff needs air to do its thing and landfills aren't very airy. That's where Mutt Mitts come in. Mutt Mitts don't need air to break down - just warmth and sunlight.

We use Mutt Mitts at our house and based on an average of 2.5 poops a day (x) me and Dutch, we're keeping 1825 poop tombs out of landfills each year by using them. These bags might not be 100% green, but until someone builds a better poop bag, they're waaaay better than the regular evil plastic ones.

At least I think they are?

17 comments:

Sabrina said...

Hi Puglet,
For those with poopy backyards, the absolute best thing you can do is to scoop up the poops with toilet paper and flush them down the toilet. Landfills aren't meant for "toxic waste" but toilets are. My city advocates flushing poo when you can, so I either pick it up with TP (if its dry-ish) or use a garden spade. Its kind of gross, but better for the environment!

BTW, sorry for holding flatpuglet hostage--it has been raining since we returned from our trip but we are going to get to the parliament buildings this week for sure!

Sabrina

Sequoia & Petunia said...

We use those bio bags, but now reading this mutt mits are probaly a way better option...thanks!!!

THE PUGLET said...

I'm waiting for Stubby-the-greenest-pug-on-earth to weigh in on the Mutt Mitts, but from what I can tell, they behave better in landfills.

THE PUGLET said...

Sabrina ~

Thanks for mentioning backyard poop. No bag is totally better than anything. And if flushing grosses you out, they make doggie septic tanks/composter thingys and you can make your own.

Easy (and almost as cheap) as digging a hole:

You need: a spade, large plastic bowl, plastic garbage lid (or piece of wood) and a package of septic starter (available in most supermarkets for $2 to $3).

Choose a well-drained, slightly out of the way place, not too near tree roots which might grow up into your "septic tank". Dig a hole about 2 feet deep and big enough to contain the plastic bowl at the bottom.

Put bowl in hole, add poop and sprinkle 2 packets of septic tank starter on top. Add a liter or so of water. Cover hole with the lid or piece of wood.

Within 48 hours, the septic tank starter, which is non-caustic and promotes natural bacterial growth, will have begun its work and you can add more poop. You can then begin to add it daily.

Maintenance: Add a bucket of water a week and a packet of starter once or twice a month. The poop turns to liquid, most of which washes into the soil. What remains is a humus which should only need to be collected once every two or three years. There is no smell even in the warmest weather.

Even the Vancouver Health Department declares them safe.

Melissa and Emmitt said...

hi puglet!
what a great post!
we never realized we were making poop tombs!
this is going to change today!
xoxoox
m & e

Lola said...

Hey Pug! My mom says she's not gonna dig a poop hole in the yard, but she will buy better-for-the-landfills bags.
I think Stubby's smarts are contagious- and I think you caught them! Thanks for the good info.
Lafayette Lola

Miss Patty the Pug said...

I always used the grocery store bags too. I will try to find some "Mutt Mits" now! Thanks for the info!

THE PUGLET said...

Don't worry - we didn't know about poop tombs either. The cool thing about change is it can happen at any moment ;)

My human loves Mutt Mitts. They're sturdier than other bags -- which isn't a big thing unless you have to scoop giant Dutch poops!

Those Elgin Pugs said...

Hey Puglet Dude -

With all your star quality I thought for sure you'd be able to use a toilet by now. (hee hee) Like Jinx the Cat from Meet the Parents...

Sorry little buddy...I couldn't resist,
Anakin

Sabrina said...

The backyard septic thing sounds neat--if I had a bigger backyard I would give it a try!

Salinger The Pug said...

OMG...the poop hole idea sounds great, but mom has visions of herself (or one of my other hoomans) STEPPING right into it and breaking an ankle AND being shin deep in $#it!

Mom did buy those corn poop bags and uses those on walkies. They rock (well...as much as dog poop bags CAN rock!)

Happy Earth Day Dude!

Love,
S-Dog

Sophie's hooman said...

Hey Puglet,
What do those compost holes do in the winter? Gets mighty cold and snowy in Maine! I had one years ago in Pennsylvania and I gave up on it in the wintertime; Maine is much more daunting.

Meanwhile I will ABSOLUTELY look for Mutt Mitts. Thanks for the heads-up!!

PS I gave up smoking for the very first Earth Day, 40 years ago! I figure it all starts with us cleaning up our own personal space. Mutt Mitts for us!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Puglet - I tried looking for Mutt Mitts in San Francisco, but couldn't find a retailer that carries them. Any suggestions?

PugFan

THE PUGLET said...

Hi PugFan!

We buy our MuttMitts by the case from a friend who works for the park department, but I'm 99% sure PetSmart has them too.


Glad you're rethinking the poop-tomb :)

Anonymous said...

So I guess the same would apply to the "items" from the cat litter box (although my pugs would actually like to clean it out themselves). Our plumbing isn't stable enough for me to flush that waste. I'll have to get MuttMitts for that too.

Rex-Thor said...

My human collects the plastic bags in the office (used for grocery and lunch delivery to her colleagues) and uses those for our walks. Yes, they create poop-tombs, but those are bags that would otherwise be thrown straight into the garbage anyway. We choose that option because it's reusing vs supporting a newly made product that takes energy and materials to create. We go through many bags cuz I'm a NYC pooch.

It's always a toss-up as far as materials vs. energy vs. lifecycle.

THE PUGLET said...

Hi Rex-Thor!

You're right, the whole materials vs. energy vs. lifecycle thing can definitely complicate things. I think when it comes to poop & bags, there is no 100% great answer.