This blog was started, and is intended to illustrate that environmentalism happens through small acts, is not difficult, and that it does not always have to be some big life changing event that forces you to live in the tree tops with no electricity. All that being said, one of my small acts was to start this blog to gain some friends to help me save the world.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

No really these are honest questions

So I would like to start this post off with yet another disclaimer.  Here it is: this post is nothing but sincere and honest questions that I am struggling to find answers to, any and all help appreciated.  I would also like to add that I am not a conspiracy theorist (or am I???), and I am not trying to get out of doing the dirty work (or am I???), and I am not crazy (or am I???) (please do not answer the last one, I think we all know the answer).
Here goes, (again remember I am truly being honest and sincere) how can it be more environmentally friendly (which is the claim) to pick up dog poop (especially with plastic bags) and create more waste for the landfills?????
Sure I understand the social factors around this issue.  Your neighbors dog who always goes in your yard can be annoying.  And seriously no one wants to step in a pile of pooh.  But I struggle to understand the environmental and health reasons around why we have to pick it, especially since to me it seems to be increasing the use of single use plastics.  I mean lets face it, pooh is one of the few naturally organic things that humans (and all animals) make so why do we have to wrap it up in plastic and send it to the dump (no pun intended). Let the doo do what it is supposed to do.

Lets go ahead and bullets some points and counter points out to discuss.

  • It is said that pet waste (can't do it have to call it pooh) when decomposes adds toxic bacteria to the ground.
  • Counter point: don't all animals poop, including those pesky wild animals?, and who is picking that up.  Isn't it just as toxic and decomposing into the ground???  And what is the sun doing, doesn't it have a natural bleaching affect?  And if we send a bag of poop to the landfill don't the toxic chemicals from the bag filled with poop add more toxic chemicals to the cocktail of human pollution?
  • Once in the ground it is said that pooh then has the potential to pollute humans freshwater supply.
  • Counter point: similar to above, everything poops right?  Fish poop, birds, lizards, etc.  And they all have the potential for being sick and carrying diseases as well, so are the all destroying our water, is that why we are destroying their natural habitats?   Interesting resource (Diseases Transmitted by Animals).  
  • I also saw it mentioned that pet waste is the third largest cause in water pollution.
  • Counter point:  This one seems to easy, since humans have to be number one and two for biggest polluters, just saying.  I think some of the recent oil spills might highlight my point here.
  • Now concentrations of poop, say from farms with larger animals, that are directly sourced into water, that is a no brainer, don't do that. But how does that compare to not picking up dog poop?
  • But a small counter point to consider, isn't a lot of poop, like cow, horse, and elephant a good natural fertilizer.   I know I have seen zoo poo for sale with the sales pitch being that it will make your roses at home grow and grow.  And I know there is work out there to try and capture the methane release from large farms.
  • Discussing the concentration issue leads me to a size issue.  Now no one wants to stand in a mastiff sized pile or in  a chihuahua sized pile, but it needs to be considered, especially when more plastic is entering our landfills due to tiny bits of caca.
  • Counter point: why are we wasting plastic bags on small amounts of poop.  Seems like the plastic has a more long term detrimental effects than the actual poop (regardless of size), which does decompose.
These are just some of the many questions that have crossed my mind at some point or another when considering picking up pet poop.  I am struggling to find answers that really address any of these concerns, and it bugs me.  If it is just a social thing to pick up dog poop at least I understand that.  May not agree, but get it.  I just hate to think of additional human waste (and cost) being added into the copious amounts of trash we already produce.  No we do not want streets line with poop anywhere in there world.  But remember it was the poop that was here before those streets, and for the most part that poop is gone and the roads are still here, which one seems to be the issue?  If anyone out there can answer any of these questions I look forward to hearing from you.  In the meantime if you do have some pooh to pick up do it as environmentally friendly as possible.  Reusable pooper scoopers, news paper, or paper bags.  Just remember it is still going to the massive man made piles of trash called landfills.  And not sure but think that trash may be contributing to some of the worlds pollution and environmental health related issues just a tad more than dog doo.  Some thing to think about at least.


  1. You have just made me feel validated for all of the dog poop in my back yard. Thanks Char!

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