British Columbia

Composting dog poop another way to reduce your carbon footprint?

It's easy to build a do it yourself (DIY) dog poop composter and use the product for fertilizing plants around the house.

James Gordan posted a video on YouTube explaining how to build a yard composter for dog excrement

Ames Gordon's dog, Lenny is a goldendoodle and primary contributor to the Dog Doolie in Gordon's backyard. He also makes an appearance in the YouTube video. (James Gordan)

A Kamloops university staff member, obsessed with lowering his carbon footprint, has come up with a novel method of dealing with his pet's waste.

James Gordon composts his food scraps and his lawn clippings, and now — even his dog Lenny's number twos.

Gordon is the research coordinator in the office of environment and sustainability at Thompson Rivers University.

"There's lots of little things we can all do on a regular basis and this is just one of them ... theoretically if we all composted around the world, it would have an effect," Gordon says.

He believes composting is another great way to keep waste from unnecessarily ending up in the landfill. 

"If you're a dog owner, you pick it up in a plastic bag anyway, so this is just taking it a step further. It's really not a big deal. You open it up, put it in and that's about it," Gordon told Daybreak Kamloops.

Last week, Gordon posted a do it yourself (DIY) instructional video on how to construct what he calls a Dog Doolie, an in-ground composter to dispose of a pets waste. He got the idea just over three years ago from another YouTube video posted by City Farmer.

How it works

Gordon explains that the Dog Doolie works just as any compost would, which means that it is in need of 5 things.

Nitrogen

This is essentially what it is that you are composting. "It's the wet stuff, whether it's kitchen scraps or dog poo."

Carbon

This is the material that gives energy to the bacteria. This can be dead leaves, wood chips or dried grass.

Oxygen 

This is a very important part of the process which can be managed by making sure that you are mixing the compost. 

"A lot of people forget about that part, and that's why some backyard composting operations get quite smelly."

James Gordon has been composting his dog, Lenny's poop for four years. It is just one of the many steps he takes to lower his carbon footprint. (James Gordon)

Moisture

Gordon says the moisture is easy to monitor and you can generally tell if the mixture is in need of moisture, in which case you just add water. If the mixture is too wet, you add more carbon material.

Time

Gordon says that he harvests the compost about once a year, every spring.

"It basically turns into a peat moss and you would have no notion that it had anything to do with poo. When you do harvest it, use it for non-food producing plants"

To hear the full interview, click: The benefits of composting your dog's poop

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