Zero waste dog

Unfortunately, many poop bags that claim to be earth-friendly or biodegradable don’t actually break down within a year, and some never degrade at all.

How to be a super scooper

Here are some ways to make the best use of biodegradable pet waste bags:

  • Use a dog-waste-only composting bin. There are several commercial options like many on the market, but you can also make your own with supplies available at your local home and garden store. While pet waste compost should never be used on edible plants, it can be great fertilizer for decorative gardens!
  • Flush it. Yes, depending on where you live, you can flush your bag in water-soluble waste bags. Just be sure to check with your municipal sewage guidelines, and never flush pet waste into a septic tank.
  • Bury it. This option works best if you live in a rural area with space away from the house. Waste should be buried at least five inches underground, away from vegetable gardens and water sources.
  • Transport it to an industrial composting facility that accepts pet waste, or hire a waste removal company that does the dirty work for you (for example: Portland’s Green Pet Compost Company).

Of course, you can also forgo the bag completely. Using a hand-held scoop or shovel to transfer dog waste from the ground to a composting bin, toilet, or hole in the ground may be the most earth-friendly option. But let’s be realistic: for those of living and working in densely populated areas, the poop bag is the way to go. We just need to use them correctly.

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