Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!
Friday, January 9, 2015
The Scoop on Poop
One of my goals for 2015 is to reduce the amount of trash my family is sending to the landfill. We compost and recycle, and buy used when we can, so we don't have a crazy amount of trash.... but I think we still have a lot of room for improvement. I know a lot of our waste comes from food packaging that can't be recycled, but another large part of it has been coming from our pets.
As many of you already know, we are a house of animal lovers. We have 3 cats and 2 dogs (we used to have 4). Which means a lot of fur and a lot of poop.
When we first moved from Montana to Portland, we saw dog poop in a whole new light. In Montana we lived on 4.5 acres and it was dry there... so the dogs would bathroom somewhere on the property and after a few weeks it would be dried out and return to the soil. Unless the dogs happened to go to the bathroom right on a pathway we used, we just didn't bother to pick it up. We didn't need to. Heck, we rarely even saw any.
Once we got to Portland, we now had dogs with a fenced-in front yard as big as a large bathroom. It is constantly wet here and if you don't pick up after the dogs several times A DAY, someone is bound to step in it and create a huge mess. So now we pick up dog poop. A lot.
And this has been a huge wake-up call in how much poop a dog can produce. When we had 4 dogs (plus add 3 cats to that), animal waste probably made up 1/3 to 1/2 of our landfill waste. Gross, right? A few years ago, we tried to make a separate compost pile for dog waste on our side yard, but it got too stinky too quick. We looked into special dog waste compost systems, but they wouldn't work in our soil type. Finally, I resigned myself to continue tossing it in the trash.
Then, a couple of months ago, I found out that there is now a company that will pick up your animal waste from your home and take it to a specialized compost facility. We just scoop the poop into a bucket and they come switch it out once a week. It's easy. It's not super expensive. And we have been reducing our trash.
Sometimes I have to laugh at myself thinking that we pay for someone to haul away our dog and cat poop and compost it (only in Portland, right?). But, until the city compost is able to accommodate animal waste (hopefully one day!), I think we have found the best solution.
I would love to hear stories about other creative ways people deal with their pet waste! Pin It Now!