Friday, June 1, 2018

Monthly Micro-Action: The Power of (Dog) Waste

*MLA’s note*  Laska is one of our amazing constituents in Saanich South. This is the second of a series of guest blog posts to provide tips on small changes we can make in our day-to-day lives to encourage us to live more sustainably. Read on below to find out more! - Lana 

Laska and a four-legged friend!
What if I told you our future could rely on poop for energy? You heard me, poop!

There is no escaping the conclusion that fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are non-renewable and are mostly depended on for our energy needs. But they are limited in supply and will one day be depleted. In order to tackle the energy crisis, we need to seek out new sources of clean energy. That calls for a little innovation and rethinking the way we manage waste.

Your dog might seem like an unlikely source of renewable energy, but the facts are (1) dogs produce a lot of poo (2) it’s an unlimited, natural resource.

Turning poop to power is a way of the future and one I hope to bring to Greater Victoria through “The Power of Poo” campaign.

What’s this? you ask.

Over the past few months, I have partnered with Shaw TV to develop short videos on varied environmental protection topics. While researching content for my recent video feature, Paws & Poop, I Iearned how big the poo issue is in Greater Victoria and the lack of sustainable options available to pet owners. I started to learn about what other cities are doing to reduce the amount of poo sent to landfills. Some of the more innovative solutions include using dog poo to power streetlamps, and human sewage to power buses. Naturally, I thought: Why can’t we do this in Victoria?

Our city is known for its progressive lifestyle, thriving technology sector, abundant parkland, and some of the nation’s best educational intuitions. My goal for “The Power of Poo” campaign is to maximize the potential of waste diversion by producing something useful and build connections between the small changes we can make at the local level, and the impact of these changes on our local environment. Imagine if the streetlamps in parks across Greater Victoria were powered by bio-gas from dog poo? How satisfying would it be to recognize our furry friends as a source for clean energy?

Dog owner or not, everyone has a role to play in helping us shape a sustainable city. This month, I’m inviting you to consider the potential of dog droppings by signing “The Power of Poo” petition. The goal is to rally support to encourage municipalities across Greater Victoria to pilot waste-to-energy projects that turn dog poo into energy and divert this waste from the landfill.

Let’s work together and use this petition as an opportunity to make affordable change! While signing a petition might seem like a very small micro-action, collectively it will have an impact. If you’re keen to do more, spread the word by sharing the petition with your networks and join the discussion online. Together we will create cleaner parks and green spaces for all to enjoy, and hopefully reduce the likelihood of you stepping in dog poo.