Monday, August 25, 2008

Thinking about the little things

I want to take up a topic that probably not many other bloggers have dealt with – dog poo. Why is this an issue for an economist environmentalist you might ask? Because today I was chastised for letting the dog poo in the park, and it got me thinking about the inconsistency in many of our actions.

Now, I try and clean up after the dog when we walk – it seems ridiculous to leave dog poo on the footpath where it is likely to be stood on. But he doesn’t like doing his business out in the open, and generally finds a spot in a garden to do it (not a private garden, but I am trying to describe the type of area he likes). If this is the case, I leave it. And, this was the case today.

But it got me thinking about the whole dog poo in a plastic bag philosophy. I know that this type of regulation is trying to avoid poo all over the streets, but I sometimes see how ironic the situation can get. We go to get groceries and are told to refuse a bag, and then told in the next breath to get a bag for the dogs poo, which will then be trucked to some far away landfill, to wait thousands of years for the plastic bag to breakdown and be back on it’s way back through the ecosystem. And at the same time all of this is happening, we truck in poo from other animals of choice to put on the garden to help the plants grow. So after all of this, I get the feeling that no bag is a more logical choice.

Those who are very familiar with this blog would know that neither the use of poo bags, or not, will have an effect on the consumption of oil (of which the plastic is made). But is seems like an odd thing to keep people employed in the poo shipping business when a simpler alternative is available.

One further little thing I got thinking about is whether animal excrement is even a form of pollution. In some cases, we see ibis poo all over the ground and it bothers some people – the ibis are polluting our cities. But what about the poo of every other animal alive! What about koala poo? Surely koalas can’t be the perpetrators of pollution! Or would they be of they we nearby to our homes? We want nature close by, as long as it keeps to itself and we interact with it on our terms only.

Well, that’s just a small issue I’ve been thinking about today. Does anyone else think that animals can pollute? Thoughts on the poo bag conundrum?

1 comment:

  1. The plastic bags were supposed to be degradable (woops BCC).

    But there is a point - smell... don't think I'd want dogs pooing on the grass in front of my house.

    In a garden bed in a park though might be a different matter.

    I do agree that people can get carried away with sticking to the rule book at times.

    Bit like religion really... ;)