Eco-Living Tips is a special section on The Urban Country where we provide tips for our readers on how we can live a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
If you’re at all like myself, you become irked when people dispose of non bio-degradable materials into our trash bins. Plastic bags are one such item that frequently end up in landfills.
Plastic bags have only been around for 50 or so years, so it’s uncertain how long they will take to biodegrade – though scientists have estimated that it could take 500-1000 years for our plastic bags to biodegrade.
At the rate that humans use plastic, this is a very serious and scary issue. Take a moment to imagine how many plastic bags will accumulate over the next 1000 years at our current rate of consumption – it’s astronomical.
Plastic bags are frequently used to pick up dog poop, contributing an inordinate amount of plastic in landfills – however, many people have switched to biodegradable dog poop bags – a definite step in the right direction.
The Urban Country proposes to take this even further. We all from time-to-time purchase donuts or muffins from our favourite coffee shops, resulting in a non-recyclable, biodegradable paper bag.
For more than a year now, I have been collecting those paper bags. Even though these bags are biodegradable, I still refuse to trash them.
While walking my dog, I reuse these paper bags for picking up dog poop. This is a great way to reduce the amount of trash we generate – two useful purposes with just one bag. My critics will say that it’s much more convenient to use plastic bags to pick up dog poop. It’s also a lot more convenient to serve dinner using disposable plates and cutlery rather than washing dishes – but sometimes we need to make small sacrifices to treat the earth as well as she treats us.
It really isn’t a hassle to find a little twig or branch to push the poop into the paper bag. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I have no complaints.
Another way to pick up dog poop is to look around for nearby trash that inconsiderate people have littered on the ground. I use this litter to pick up the dog poop, resulting in less litter on the ground, and less trash in our landfills.
These are two simple things that we can all do to help reduce the amount of trash we generate. Some day – perhaps 50 or 100 or 500 or 1000 years from now – we will be judged on how we have left the earth for future generations to enjoy.
It will be the little decisions that we make now that will have an enormous impact on our kids and their kids.
Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country