Two suburbanite boomers throw caution to the wind, postpone retirement, and move to a farm in Indiana. There they intend to live happily ever after.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
It's Not Easy Being Green
Michelle at Rambling Woods posted a Photo Hunt entry on plastic this week pointing out that 500 billion plastic bags are used annually worldwide and describing the damage they do. I have been uneasy for a while now about how many of them come into our household from shopping. And I must confess that while I reuse many of them and drop some off back at the stores' recycling bins, far too many end up in the garbage.
Plus, there's this: kitty poop.
I've always scooped the used litter into a plastic grocery bag and put it into the garbage. In the city, that made perfect sense to me. Out here, I've started rethinking the situation. I've been prowling around the Web looking for solutions, but haven't found any that work.
There is flushable litter, but it is bad for your plumbing. Stopped up toilets, I don't need.
Tossing it into the woods seemed at once logical and wrong. After all, you gotta figure about half the "earth" out there is some kind of poop or other. But cats are not native, the scent of their waste stresses prey animals, and the clay litter I use is mixed with chemicals that control odor. (I'm sorry, but that's not going to change.) Plus, per the Web, dumping cat litter outside can introduce toxoplasmosis into the environment, which can get into the water supply. Living in a wetland area and drinking from a well, that's not a good thing either.
"Solutions" I've seen online generally involve exotic and/or expensive paraphernalia. There are biodegradable poop bags imported from Norway. Surely the oil involved in transporting those negates any benefits. For about a hundred dollars, you can buy a worm farm that will decompose pet waste for you. Ouch and eww.
The best suggestion I've seen so far is the simplest: Wrap the waste in newspaper instead of plastic and send it to the landfill. Of course, that's newspaper that won't be going into the recycling bin, but I don't see a better alternative.