Update April 19, 2011: I’ve recently gotten a few questions about this post, so I thought I’d repost it for those of you who may have missed it. This is such a great idea for an Earth Day project! Let me know if you make one yourself.
Last week I wrote about an environmentally friendly way to dispose of your dog’s poop using a waste digester—the Doggie Dooley or the Staywell Eco Clean. They work like a miniature septic tank. They can also cost a pretty penny and depending on how many dogs you have, may not be able to handle all your poop problems.
Happily you can make your own pet waste digester for dirt cheap. You’ll need:
- a large plastic garbage can with a lid hat fits tightly
- a drill to make holes in the side of the can
- something to cut the bottom out of the can
- a shovel
- a hole dug with that shovel
- gravel or small rocks
- septic tank enzyme available at hardware stores (Septonic, Septo-Bac, Roebic Septic Treatment, Drain Out, Rid-X)
Don’t locate your waste digester anywhere near edible plants. And don’t put one of these too close to water, like a river bank, or anywhere where the water table is high. Waste digesters won’t work properly in very clayey soil and digestive activity stops below 40°F, but picks up again when the weather warms up. If you live in a cool area, try to locate your digester in a sunnier part of your yard. Also, too much chlorine in the water you add to the digester may slow digestive activity.
Check out the detailed slide show for a DIY waste digester and make your own.
The video tells you how it works and how to maintain you DIY Doggie Dooley.
We can do more than just Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—we can help the environment and ourselves by “upcycling” things we can no longer reuse. Plastic grocery bags with too many holes become crinkly stuffing for cat toys. A sad, old pillow is transformed into a pet bed. A funky, old candy dish on a pedestal becomes a fancy, raised water bowl. Try using your imagination before you go out to buy new things for your pets. You might already have something around the house that will work as well or better than something new. Save money, help save the planet!
Some of my favorite DIY projects that Rethink, Repurpose, Recraft!
Beds & Furniture:
PlanetGreen has a great post on how to limit your pets’ environmental impact. (Full disclosure: PetProject was included in Planet Green’s list of Top Ten DIY Sites.)
I recommend reading the whole post to see their good suggestions and the reasons behind them, but here are some of my favorite points.
- adopt from a shelter
- use pet-friendly deicer on sidewalks
- compost dog poop
- contain your pets
Topped only perhaps by habitat destruction, cats are the biggest, baddest bird killers of all time. Even wind turbines have got nothing on them. …[D]omestic cats do have an unfair advantage. Unlike wild predators, house cats are always well fed, well rested, and in tip-top fighting shape. They’re also present in more concentrated (and rapidly increasing) numbers than say, the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike.
There are also tons of links to articles and useful websites, so check it out!