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A year or two ago, my husband and I were looking for a new brand of poop bags. The ones were were using were either regular, landfill filling plastic or flimsy earth friendly bags that split as soon as they were filled. We knew that there had to be something better out there, so off we headed to the internet to search for a better option. After trying several brands, we discovered Earth Rated’s Lavender scented poop bags… and since then, we haven’t looked back.

So why did we choose these particular bags? We had a list of things we were wanted, and these bags happened to match what we were after. I also find that they are great for slightly reducing the overall number of bags we go through, which is good for both us and the environment. Keep reading to learn why we like these particular poop bags, and why they’re good for the environment too.

Won’t any old poop bags do? What should I look for?

I certainly wouldn’t have ever thought poop bags would ever have “features” or that I would have a preference for the way I handle their dumps. But once you pick up poop on a daily basis, the bag becomes quite important! Here are some of things I look for in a good poop bag:

  • Length. I need the bag to be long enough for big messes, without risking the cleanliness of my hands and arms. You probably know what I mean. A larger bag can also hold more – important for the multi-dog household, and critical for re-using the same bag more than once. I don’t want to use 2 or 3 bags on a walk, preferably I can reuse a bag at least twice. Crazy talk? Check out the next section.
Keep your hands clean with Earth Rated poop bags

Earth Rated poop bags are longer – 9×13 inches- helps you keep your hands, arms, and sleeves clean.

  • Fits in typical dispensers. The roll size and type of plastic will affect what kinds of roll holders you can put the roll in (often the kind you hang from a leash). Also, I have a couple of dog accessories that hold a roll of bags, and some types of bags can’t be used in them. The right kind of roll works well:
Earth Rated poop bags work in this dog vest dispenser.

Some plastics don’t easily fit or dispense from a dog vest like this. These Earth Rated rolls work well in all of the above.

This training bag benefits from a type of plastic that slides easily through fabric - Earth Rated works.

This training bag benefits from a type of plastic that slides easily through fabric – Earth Rated works.

  • Earth friendly. Not all bags are created equal, especially when it comes to the environment. Earth Rated offers two different kinds of bag – compostable bags and their green bags, which have an additive that help them break down faster than other poop bags. Both types are friendlier to the environment, which is close to our heart considering the images taken for this post were all taken on what used to be a landfill!

  • Bonus points: Scented. It truly makes a difference. (Unscented bags are also available)

We found out that Earth Rated covers all of these points, which is why we’ve stuck with this brand for so long.

Wait a minute… you reuse the same bag? How? Isn’t that gross?

That’s right. It may sound gross if you haven’t tried this before, but the goal here is to use fewer bags on a single dog walk. And for some reason I never though of reusing a small poop bag more than once until my husband pointed out I could and should – not sure why I hadn’t thought of it earlier!

Why reuse a bag? It’s kind to the environment, makes the roll last a bit longer, and you don’t need to carry all those bags while juggling the leash handles. Note that this will only work for Small to Medium sized dog messes, or maybe larger sized dogs who eat a raw diet due to the reduced poop dimensions. And you’ve probably done this before if you’ve ever used a large plastic shopping bag – or ran out of bags and had to reuse the last one – on your dog walk!

  • Choose a bag that is as long as possible, such as the Earth Rated bags. This will help you double up on poop duty without getting messy.
  • When you first use the bag (turning it inside out to do a pickup), make sure you only use the very bottom of the bag. Keep the top half as clean as possible – you can do this by enclosing the bottom half around the mess when picking it up.
    Keep your hands clean with Earth Rated poop bags

    Only use the very bottom of the bag when picking up, and keep the sides nice and clean for deuce #2.

  • After the first use of the bag, tie a loose knot that is easy to reopen, such as this:

    Twirl the bag around, and form a loop.

    Twirl the bag around, and form a loop.

    Push a midsection through, but don't push it all of the way through the knot.

    Push a midsection through, but don’t push it all of the way through the knot.

  • For the second cleanup, reopen the bag, turn the top half inside out and primarily use the side of the poop bag to pick up the second mess, or palm the first dump and grab the second.

    Reopen the bag, and pull the bag inside out as much as possible.

    Reopen the bag, and pull the bag inside out as much as possible.

    Use the outside of the middle section of the bag to pick up mess #2.

    Use the outside of the middle section of the bag to pick up mess #2.

  • Bonus: If you really want to make life easy, feed your dogs a raw diet. Raw food diet poops are generally smaller, drier, and have considerably less smell from my experience. Makes clean up much easier!

Poop bags do impact the environment

With so many bags going into the very (former) landfill we were walking on to take the images above, it’s important to think of alternatives for items we use on a regular day-to-day basis such as dog poop bags. As many as one trillion plastic bags are added into landfills every year, and it can take up to 1,000 years for these bags to break down. Worse yet, many of these bags end up elsewhere, such as in our oceans and forests.

Earth Rated offers two different types of bags that have the environment in mind. The Earth Rated Lavender Poop Bags described above (the green ones) are one option, and they also offer new corn-based Compostable Dog Waste Poop Bags that are made with all-natural ingredients and completely dissolve in about 40 days. They meet the gold eco-certification standard, so if you really want to impress mother nature this is the way to go. We haven’t tried these bags yet, but they have been ordered!

So give Earth Rated a try, and let us know what you think! You can find more information the Earth Rated website, find Earth Rated on Facebook, follow Earth Rated on Twitter, and find Earth Rated poop bags at your favorite pet store or online:

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DOGthusiast.com has been compensated for this blog post, but we only share products that we do or would use ourselves along with information that is useful to our readers regardless of whether they purchase the item. DOGthusiast discovered this product on our own, and have been happily using these poop bags for nearly two years. And not a single one has split on us yet!

About Author

Jen deHaan is graphic designer, small business owner, and dog person living in Bay Area, California. Jen enjoys learning about dog training and behavior, and has taken several courses and seminars since 2010. She also contributes articles to leading websites, such as Victoria Stilwell's Positively . It all started with a great dog called Mikey (aka "dude"), loved and lost but remembered forever. Jen also runs a freelance business focusing on graphic, web, and UI design at FoundPixel, and a small business creating hand crafted dog products at Stylish Canine.

  • Great post! Very informative. We haven’t used ours yet, but after having problems with more flimsy options we know we’ll like the Earth Rated ones :)

  • Since I discovered this brand at Global last year, I never looked back at another poop bag. They rock big time. And yes there is a huge difference. Amazing product.

  • Poop is such a big issue and yes, it’s important to find a good way to dispose of it.

    For me, the better option is flushable bags. They don’t work for private septic systems. But they’re safe for my city sewer and toilet. And I know that my dog’s waste is being handled properly at the city’s water treatment plant.

    Glad Earth Rated bags are working for you. I’ve heard lots of good things about them.

  • I reuse the same bag when I can too, but I do it a bit differently. First of all, I have a small dog (22 lbs) and his messes are small. Usually we only poop once on a walk and depending on what I am wearing, sometimes I just grab one bag instead of the roll. If we have a 2 poop walk when I only have one bag, I put my hand under the bottom of the bag, close my fingers around the top of the poop and then pull the top of the bag down past my wrist. I’m basically putting it back into the inside out position from when I picked up the first poop. Then, keeping my fingers holding the first poop in place, I open up my fingers just enough to scoop up the new poop. It’s really no different than if you have a dog that shifts position while he poops like mine dogs…there are usually 3 pieces of poop at least 6 inches apart…so I grab one piece, then grab the next and so on.

    In order to do this, you also have to make sure you keep the top portion of the bag clean when you pick up the first time around.