After every morning cup of coffee I poop…and so does my dog Poppy (somehow without the coffee). Transitioning from an acre of land located in a farming village in New Mexico to living in a condo in Seattle made my morning poop ritual an everyday endeavor for both Poppy and I.
I always believed that my dog’s poop was just another natural fertilizer that would help Mother Earth continue to prosper. I therefore never picked up my dog’s poop (and we had enough land that the chances of stepping on it was minimal). Ah yes, this was the life.
Fast forward to Seattle, Washington where the daily dog walks get added on to a laundry list of to-dos in the city lifestyle. Here in Seattle, picking up the doggy doos is the law and there are hefty prices to pay if caught. Besides the many incentives for picking up your dog’s cinnamon roll: the fines, disputes between neighbors, karma when someone goes to work in the morning rolling into the office smelling like (you get the point). I somehow keep forgetting about the impact on the environment.
It was all fine and dandy leaving a few piles of poop around a village that for the most part depended on drilling wells for water and has 8,000 inhabitants. Coming to the city of Seattle where everything is much more closely connected means that the aggregation of your dog’s blind eels adds up and carries major economic and health issues with it. According to Seattle Times staff reporter Erik Lacitis, “We’re a city in which there are 45 percent more canines than children. That means Seattle gets 15.1 million pounds of this stuff a year”. This is no longer a little doodie.
So what can we do?
Let’s rejoice in our miracle mud. Instead of creating negative incentives for people to pick up their dog’s fecal matter, let’s make people feel like they are contributing to society and Mother Nature. We can start implementing some of the amazing projects that have already been developed and do more research to further make use of our byproduct instead of adding to our landfills. Here are some ideas to get your mind and bowels moving.
Build with it? Eat it? Create energy from it? If you answered yes to any of these, then poo is your answer. San Francisco is doing it and Seattle is way more sustainable than some city in California right? So the next time you see your neighbor picking up his or her dog’s Tom Cruise missiles then go give them a pat on their back and thank them for making the world a better place, for someday soon your car may be running off of Poppy’s lawn sausage.