Bag or Flick?
If you wonder why I have decided to write about dog poop today, here is the story. It all began with cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, and putting the table scraps into the compost bin.
There were a few lettuce leaves and veggie leftovers in the sink, and I just couldn’t bring myself to push them into the garbage disposal (garburator, for my fellow Canadians). Over time I have grown more and more sensitive to food being thrown into the garbage or sewage, because ideally it should end up in the fields where it was grown.
If the leftovers and poop are wasted and do not get back to the fields, the next batch of produce grown (or farm animals raised) on depleted soil is more deficient of nutrients than the previous crop. Most people don’t even think about this but it is one of the most serious problems threatening healthy food production.
Perhaps you think that farmers add all the missing nutrients back into the soil, but they don’t. They can barely afford to supplement Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium, and Nitrogen but the rest of the other essential minerals may be missing.
I often wonder why they don't teach this in every school, and why so much food winds up in the garbage.
Perhaps, you may be the rare exception, and you understand that depleted soils yield depleted produce. Maybe you even give your dog our mineral rich green superfood GreenMin, but a large majority of people still don’t understand why our food decreases in nutrients year after year.
My sense is that most people just don’t understand how much harm is done when food leftovers end up in the garbage or sewage. Would anyone throw gold and diamonds into the garbage? Of course not.
The irony is that from the health point of view, compost is THE REAL GOLD.
There are about 900,000 awesome, fantastic, great, giggle-inducing dogs in the world that poop. Many dog lovers use NEW plastic poop bags to proudly collect their dog’s number 2, as “responsible” law abiding citizens.
But is that really the best way to go? I have never heard of a turtle dying from ingesting dog poop, but there are many who die of ingesting plastic bags that wind up in the ocean.
I am not suggesting that we should be leaving dog poop on lawns and sidewalks, not at all. However sealing the REAL COMPOST GOLD in a plastic bag for centuries is bad for healthy food production, wildlife, and the planet.
I hear some of you crying out “Eeeewwwww!!” Or “What!?!” "Are you suggesting we should NOT pick up our dog’s poop?"
The answer is YES, and the answer is also no. It depends where your dog poops!
Do you poop flick? I proudly do!
Over the years, I have seen many dog lovers giving other dog lovers the stink-eye if they don’t notice that their dog has just taken a dump. It has happened to all of us. I agree with the principle that clearing dog poop from lawns and sidewalks is the right thing to do.
In fact, one of my early childhood “traumas” (JUST KIDDING), happened when my grandma stepped in dog poop right before we drove 200 miles (320 km) to her house. 💩🥴 When we all got in the car we couldn't figure out who or what stank so badly, and then we discovered a piece of “dog pie” stuck to my grandma's Sunday shoes. The rest of the crew were proud of themselves that it wasn’t them. It is always a relief right?! And poor grandma felt so embarrassed, as if the poop were hers! I know it's silly, isn’t it! 🥴🤢
HOWEVER, if you walk your dog in a forest, or on a trail with moss and bushes, I believe that flicking your dog’s REAL GOLD off the trail with a stick, or burying it in the ground and feeding the trees, is much wiser than using plastic dog poop bags.
Some of you may be appalled by my suggestion, and I am not surprised. We have been conditioned for many years. All I am asking is for you to honestly answer the following question:
What is worse, poop under a tree where no one will ever step in it, or millions and billions of plastic bags that suffocate turtles, kill wildlife, and transform our planet into one big plastic bag dump?
This is why I invite you to join our fearless poop flicking tribe!
Here is what you can do to make a difference!
- Tell others about the exciting new sport of forest and outdoor trail “poop-flicking”, and why it is better for the planet than a brand new plastic poop bag.
- Consider buying paper dog poop bags instead of plastic bags. Beware of bags that are called “recyclable” but are still made of plastic particles that turn into microplastics, which are very harmful. Some countries and municipalities have already switched to paper bags with a little poop scoop, and it works quite well, but others need to be nudged in order to switch.
It is true that an accidental finger dip into your dog’s doo-doo may happen, but it is a small price to pay. Wash your hands and soldier on! It is the right thing to do!
- If you insist on not using paper bags, there are companies that make corn-based fully compostable bags. You just have to make sure that your paper or compostable bags end up in the compost instead of the landfill.
- Convince your local government that providing paper dog poop bags, and placing composting bins, around major dog walking areas would make a huge difference. Make it your project, engage your friends, family, and fellow dog lovers to make it happen.
- If you have a backyard that your dog is using as a toilet, dig a round hole, buy a lid of some sort that covers the hole, and place your dog poop in it. When full, dig another hole, and so on. Your garden will love the extra nutrients, especially if you feed your dog a natural raw or cooked homemade diet.
- Some cities already have a compost collection system, and I hope yours is coming soon! For example, Vancouver B.C. and its surrounding municipalities have all introduced scrap and green waste collection, which is fantastic! They can also issue fines if someone throws food or green waste into the garbage instead of the compost bin. The odd thing is that they don’t let us put dog poop in the bin, which is the silly idea of unaware bureaucrats. Composted dog poop turns into soil and doesn’t pose any more risk than manure.
A few more thoughts and ideas...
IDEA 1: I asked you, my community, to come up with a funny way to present the idea of when and where to flick or pick your dog’s poo, and I had my graphic designer make a poster with the winning ideas.
You can download our poster below and share it with your friends and neighbours!
To download the image above, please right-click on the image, choose "Save image as", and choose the location on your computer where you would like to save it (such as your Desktop, Downloads folder, or Pictures folder). You should then be able to open the image on your computer and print it.
Congratulations to our winners, Robyn G., Randy R., and Patricia B., who all received a gift certificate for the purchase of the the Fab4 essential supplements for dogs.
Thank you for getting all the way here, loving your dog, and keeping your mind open.
Episode 5 of Not Just About Dogs podcast is out today!
Can you believe that everything in this universe, from your dog to a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, are made out of the same building blocks? But what happens when those building blocks are missing, or are in short supply?
In an ideal world (and the African Savanna), all of our building blocks would be perfectly supplied through the food we eat. However, our modern world has created one of the most disturbing imbalances: nutrient deficiencies in our soil.
This is a big “uh-oh” for people, dogs, and other animals, as disease often begins with depleted nutrients - such as minerals.
Listen to this podcast to find out how to solve this serious problem.