After I had adopted Leilah, I quickly realized what a challenge it would be to thrive for a zero waste lifestyle. I would normally try to avoid waste as much as possible by using waste-avoiding alternatives, such as bringing tote bags for shopping instead of using plastic bags. But what to do with dog food tins, dog cookies packed in plastic wrapping and, in particular, dog nappies. All of this visibly increased the amount of waste I generated from now to then!
I quickly found quite waste-friendly alternatives for the food issue: You could buy dog dry food in big batches containing 15-20 kg, which would last half a lifetime for Leilah. I even found a booth at the local farmers market at Hamburg, Immenhof, the owners agreed to sell (dry) dog cookies in cloth bags I brought.
There also is an easy alternative for dog poo bags: Available in online stores, you can find dog poo bags made out of corn stark. Those little bags degenerate much quicker than any plastic bag, which will need up to 100 years to fall apart.
One problem remained: What should I do with the endless dog nappies I needed when Leilah still wasn’t house-trained? On “bad” days, Leilah needed 2 of these…
Even though Leilah got house-trained quite quickly, I started to look for alternatives in the 3rd week after the adoption. I was already fed up by the nappy waste we generated!
And guess what I found: an eco-friendly lawn loo!!!
Yes, you read me right. You can order online a parcel of rolled turf, which is delivered in a flat cardboard box. A thin plastic sheet under the turf prevents any liquid to get through the turf into the cardboard. The turf absorbs most of the liquid/urine and avoids smell-building.
This dog loo allows dogs to pee the way they are supposed to pee: on lawn / as if they were in nature. Dogs are said to adapt to the new loo quite quickly. Poo issues need – of course – to be cleared away from the lawn loo.
According to the provider, the lawn loo needs to be replaced after 1 – 2 weeks, however, due to my excellent maintenance (additional watering, a bit of sun & air), I have used it to up to 3-4 weeks. When I replace it, I recycle the cardboard frame, the lawn can be composted and all trash that remains is a thin plastic sheeting. Compared to 1-2 plastik nappies per day, this is excellent!!!
Leilah has adapted to the lawn loo in no time. I had the loo deliverd to my office and brought it home one day after work. Out of sheer interest, I unpacked it directly and Leilah sniffed it with high interest.
The lawn loo normally sits outside on my balcony. Not only is it very useful, it is also nice to look at and brings some nature to my little outside area. In order to avoid the cardboard from soaking any moisture, I would replace the cardboard frame with a hard shell place of nearly the same size. Thus, additional liquid doesn’t swamp my balcony flooring.
Whenever Leilah needs to pee urgently outside our usual walk hours, she slightly grates the balcony door and is then allowed to go outside to do what’s necessary. Well, of course I need to earn money, thus, for any longer working days, I have made sure that Leilah doesn’t stay alone for too long. I have hired a dog walker who takes her out for a walk on working days.
Thus, the lawn loo is nearly superficial at this very moment – I am a big supporter, anyway!
Because: happy Leilah – happy Kat!
One last remark: Of course I take Leilah for a walk at least 3 times a day so that she can pee & poo outside. The lawn loo is NO replacement for walking your dog and it will not keep me from getting outside into nature with my dog as often as I can, no matter the weather. Leilah and me need to take some fresh air, play, run and sniff the world outside – well, we have fun outside! I really appreciate new ideas such as the lawn loo as for some dogs (puppies, very old/sick dogs), this innovation is a very good solution.