Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bluesday Tip #7: Don't Be A Party Pooper

Today is Bluesday!

Bluesday is the first Tuesday of the month. Each Bluesday, I share a tip for How To Be Blue. Being blue is about caring for the ocean -- what we put into it, and what we take out of it.

This month's Bluesday tip: Don't Be A Party Pooper.

Many of us have a dog. Many of us love dogs. But few (if any) of us love to pick up after our dog. 
Dog waste left behind will end up polluting the ocean, especially when left on a beach. And people do it all the time. The proof is in the ocean pollutants. 
Well, that just stinks.
Recent scientific studies of ocean water along beaches closed to swimming because of unhealthy levels of certain bacteria in the water found that most of the bacteria originated from dog poop. In fact, dogs are third in line behind birds and people as a source of ocean water pollution. 
In most cases, this problem is easily avoided. You - the dog owner - need to pick up the poop. I know a lot of us already pick it up, so please take this post as a pat on the back for all the good work. It's a thankless job, but an important one. 
To those of you part-time-scoopers and non-scoopers, don't be a party pooper by leaving dog waste on the beach. It will eventually end up in the ocean. Scoop the poop. Even if you live inland, waste finds its way to water sewers and into the ocean. 
A very helpful article in USA Today provides a thorough overview of the health risks of pet waste in the ocean. Pet waste threatens the health of our oceans, which threatens our very own health as people.   

Please click HERE to read the USA Today article.

Don't pollute the ocean with your dog's daily doo. You'll ruin the party for people and ocean creatures.

Use the opportunity to recycle a plastic bag to pick up the poop!

Don't be a party pooper. Be blue!

May you turn a deeper shade of blue with each passing month.


Adam Lowe Martin said...

I have been on both ends (poor choice of words) of the poop wars. When I lived in Chicago I would often accost people who did not pick up after their dogs. I would try to be polite, but people would look at me like I was crazy.
I was shocked that in both Houston and Charlotte some people just let their dogs roam free and that many people think a yard full of poop is part of the charm of the neighborhood. (Those cute little signs that people put up on their lawns, with a dog doing its business with an x through it, are, in my opinion, more offensive than the poop, itself).
In Chicago there are garbage cans on every corner. You just carry a plastic bag with you, and then drop off the offensive matter in the next receptacle. What do you do here in Charlotte? Do you really want a bag of poop in your garbage can, especially if you keep the garbage can in the garage? I have to admit (WARNING: This next part will definitely undermine your opinion of me) that I have kept the bags in a little pile outside the house, put them in the neighbors garbage can, or, worst of all, thrown the whole plastic bag down the sewer. Yes, I know, its bad. So, did my neighbors who made a point of telling me so. But if I did the "right" thing, bagged the poop and threw it away, it would still be a bag of poop sitting in some landfill for thousands of years. There has to be a better way.
Chowder, the best dog ever (No, that's not just my opinion, its a provable fact), passed away a year and a half ago. A day does not go by when I do not feel him sitting by my feet. The inconvenience of dog poop was no inconvenience at all, because it was part of a relationship with a great friend.

Brooke said...

very interesting & informative. i had no idea that dog poop was infiltrating the ocean & killing the sea life. here i thought i was "fertilizing the plants" when i didn't scoop. i will be a most faithful scooper, with this new knowledge....b

Kristen said...

I agree that it is often tricky to find the right place to put a bag of poop once you've scooped. If you have your garbage can in your garage and that may make for a stinky situation - you may want to try buying a cheap diaper trash can (found at any store that carries baby products) - most of them are scented and sealed to keep smell in. You could put the diaper can in your garage and use it for bags of dog poop until it is trash day in your neighborhood - then dump the poo bags into the big trash can. There may be neighborhoods with better options out there -- anyone? Let us know! :)
I agree that picking up after your pup isn't an inconvenience when you consider all that your dog means to you - whether you have the best dog ever (like Chowder), or, in our case, had the best boxer in the world (Ali - he died on 4th of July, 2009), or even if you have just your every day, average adorable doggie...well worth it.
Brooke - good job!! Most important to pick it up on the beach, but inland matters, too. Just yesterday, my neighbor was telling me about another neighbor who lets his dog poop in her yard and doesn't pick it up...He needs to read my blog post! ;)


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