Saturday, April 21, 2012

Reduce Your Carbon Paw Print

There was a study about dog poop conducted in Alaska. It was estimated that in Fairbanks and Anchorage alone dogs generate roughly 20 million pounds of dog waste each year. One dog - even your dog - excretes about 3/4 lbs of waste every day or 274 lbs. per year.

Most folks still use plastic poop bags that go into the landfill and take about a thousand years to decompose. Some folks are using biodegradable or compostable poop bags but when they are brought home how are they disposed of? Are they still finding their way into the land fill closely bound in regular plastic garbage bags?

Biodegradable bags have an additive that allows them to fragment. The bag breaks into tiny pieces but it still takes a long time for the plastic molecules to decompose. These bags take around 12 to 18 months to fragment. Compostable bags are usually corn based and break down in about 40 days and you can use them to compost your dog waste.

You can compost your own dog waste at home but it is something that requires diligence. Some good how-to links are listed below.

The Park Spark is a brilliant creation of Matthew Mazotta, a conceptual artist. 
People walking their dogs in a dog park in Cambridge, Massechuts are encouraged to collect the feces, place them into the supplied biodegradable dog bags and drop them into the digester feeding tube. They then turn a hand crank to stir the mixture of excrement and anaerobic bacteria in the Spark Park digester and help the methane rise to the top where it is burned constantly in the lamp, like an eternal flame.
Photo credit: The Park Spark Project