Reducing Your Dog’s Carbon Paw Print?

Your author’s delta-D—the change in the rate at which he is dying—has gone positive today. Luckily, he has a long flight while squeezed into a seat made for a jockey ahead of him this evening, a predicament well known to be curative.

So in lieu of a regular post, we have highlights from one of the weirdest press releases I have received in a while: reducing your dog’s “carbon paw print.”

It starts out by claiming something which isn’t true: “We all know that we as humans need to be more environmentally conscious and make efforts in our daily lives to ‘go green.'” The next level of “environmentally conscious” from where we are now is mania.

Anyway, the press release, from some nameless PR firm, is for the benefit of “Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow” who claims that the money we spend on pets is a “harm to the environment.”

Heidi has some ideas to mitigate this harm. One of the biggest is to “Break out the Fine China.” She says feeding Rover off of porcelain is more “environmentally conscious” than from a plastic dish.

She also wants you to use “premium” dog food, preferably “organic.” Somehow this “helps reduce waste overall.” This begs the obvious question—so obvious, that I won’t ask it. She also wants you to scoop up the (truly) organic output using biodegradable bags.

What about those times when Sparky needs a bath? Why, use “The Bathmaster Animal Bathing System,” which, surely coincidentally, is the very system used at Camp Bow Wow.

Today’s depressing homework: can you discover a stranger proposition to “Save the environment!” than this?


  1. Jim Fedako

    Begs the question??? Ouch.

    Sorry, pet peeve.

  2. I was really getting into this assignment until I read “Do not buy products from endangered animals”. The visuals on that got me. After exerting the effort needed to sop up spilled coffee from my keyboard and environs I ran out of research time, and must respectfully request an “incomplete” grade for today.

    It really amazed little old naive me how so many “environmentally friendly” tips, if carefully followed, would seem to economically reward certain favored industries. Not saying environmentalists’ corporate hearts aren’t in the right places, and all, but their pocketbooks frequently benefited from the “suggestions”. Probably a coincidence.

    OK, must comment on this tip. “Shut off water to washing machine between loads”. So we pull the machine away from the wall, turn off two faucets, push machine back in so we can get by to service the dryer and clothes sorting counter, and then repeat ten times a week [average for our filthy family]. I think whatever we saved in preventing a potential water leak from a ruptured hose every seven years would more than be expended replacing the flooring in the laundry room every four. But I could be wrong.

  3. GoIllini

    How’s this one?
    In April, 2010, CNBC ran a special program titled “Carbon Hunters” that explained carbon trading programs. One of the schemes they explained went something like this:

    Someone in U.K. dies, and cremation is the desired method of disposal of the remains. The undertaker asks if the relatives wish to purchase a carbon offset for the carbon dioxide produced by the cremation. For a fee, the undertaker will contract with an organization in India that will idle a diesel-fueled irrigation pump, and employ a person to pedal a foot-powered pump for six months to produce the same amount of irrigation water. Of course, that person on the treadmill will expend energy, burn calories, breath deeper, and produce carbon dioxide just like the diesel engine would, but that isn’t considered in calculating the carbon footprint savings.

    I have, however, used this same line of reasoning as a justification for not doing my doctor-suggested exercise, as I wish to lower my carbon footprint. Perhaps we should ban all gyms and athletic clubs as damaging to the environment?

  4. Doug M

    Why return your carbon to the sky when you are gone. Soak your corpse in lie and pour your liquified remains down the drain.

    “The unit by Resomation Ltd is billed as a green alternative to cremation and works by dissolving the body in heated alkaline water.”

    “The makers claim the process produces a third less greenhouse gas than cremation, uses a seventh of the energy, and allows for the complete separation of dental amalgam for safe disposal.”

  5. DAV

    So many straight lines; so little time.

    squeezed into a seat made for a jockey

    A new meaning for “crunch time”?

    Do not buy products from endangered animals

    Why not? Don’t endangered species deserve to make a living like everyone else?

    We all know that we as humans need to be more environmentally conscious and make efforts in our daily lives to ‘go green.’

    Indeed, I was ‘green’ once but I’m feeling better now, thank you. My eyes are still green though.

    I will stop now.

  6. Speed

    How green is porcelain?

    Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating raw materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 °C (2,192 °F) and 1,400 °C (2,552 °F). The toughness, strength, and translucence of porcelain arise mainly from the formation of glass and the mineral mullite within the fired body at these high temperatures.

    And can we recycle the porcelain after poochie zings it across the floor converting it to shards and sand?

    Crushed toilets and other porcelain items were used to shape artificial oyster reefs in the Chesapeake Bay instead of the traditional oyster shells. Environmentalists came upon this idea to revive native oyster populations following decades of disease, pollution, and habitat loss in the region. However, transporting the toilets and other porcelain goods proved to be more expensive than transporting the shells, so this method likely won’t catch on until it becomes cheaper.

    My dog eats highly processed non-organic (in the way that Heidi Ganahl uses the work “organic”) fish parts and sweet potatoes from a manly stainless steel bowl. It should outlast this dog as well as the next and is supremely recyclable.

    Heidi is an idiot.

  7. Eric Anderson

    Well, I’m well on my way! Our dogs already eat out of beautiful porcelain bowls — which I purchased with the selfish idea that we, the humans that is, would use at our table, but somehow the wife commandeered them to the pooches. Eventually one of the bowls will break and then they’ll have to make do with plastic or something.

    I’m afraid I haven’t gotten to the biodegradable poop bags yet, however. Please don’t tell any of my neighbors that I’m using old fashioned plastic bags . . .

  8. Shaking my head over the two spotted owls in the next block who can’t sell lemonade in their front yard anymore.

  9. Marty


    Subsidies and mandates to use ethanol derived from grain as motor fuel?

    Desert solar installations without the transmission lines to get the power to anywhere that can use it?

  10. BigD

    No need to overextend our little brains – the gov’t is coming up with stranger things all the time. Now we will do away with one form of asthma treatment in order to save the ozone.
    I’m surprised there wasn’t a big fuss about all the carbon reentering the atmosphere from our defunct satellite.

  11. Brian

    All the ideas given for reducing a dog’s carbon paw print don’t address the real issue. Surely the only real option is not to have a dog in the first place. And if you already have one then it has to be destroyed ASAP. Sorted.

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