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Earth Day and pets

April 22, 2008 |  1:50 pm

Earth_day_cat_3 Adopt from a shelter. Spay or neuter your pet. Clean up after Fido. As you might imagine, on this day, Earth Day, we're hearing a great deal about "how to green your pet." The folks at Treehugger want us to consider composting:

American dogs and cats create 10 million tons of waste a year, and no one knows where it’s going, according to Will Brinton, a scientist in Mount Vernon, Maine, and one of the world’s leading authorities on waste reduction and composting.

Most of our pets’ poop either winds up in a landfill purgatory, where it’s embalmed practically forever in plastic bags, or sits on the ground until the next rainstorm washes it into the sewer where it can drift on down to rivers and beaches. You can compost the poop—just don’t use it with your vegetable garden, because the compost doesn’t heat up enough to kill pathogens such as E. coli., which could contaminate your homegrown produce and land up in your (very unhappy) belly.

If you have room in your backyard, you can bury an old garbage bin (note: far away from your vegetable garden) to use as a pet-waste composter. Or check out the Doggie Dooley. The makers of the Doggy Dooley also sell an enzymatic “Super Digester Concentrate” for your backyard pet septic system.

Animal Planet has a few thoughts about wildlife and Earth Day.

How do you "green" your pet? Let us know.

-- Alice Short

Photo: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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