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We all see stray poop when we head out with our dogs on a walk: lonesome, irksome piles of nasty left on the sidewalk or in people’s yard, and it always seems to be directly in the path of you and your own dogs. It goes without saying that stray poop is bad: from the bothersome sticking to your shoe to problematic spreading disease and leading to more restrictions placed on dog owners, there are many reasons people should scoop their dog’s poop. This is where a new dog product startup, Poopins, could help.

Poopins biodegradable dog poop markers are small tags that you can leave with these stray piles of poop left in your neighborhood, each one containing a fun message encouraging people to pick up their dog’s poop. How could these small signs help solve a smelly problem? Read on to find out, and learn how you could get some of your own.

Note: I was asked to help spread the word about the Poopins Kickstarter project. I am receiving compensation but the thoughts about the product, and the issue, contained in this post are my own.

Use Poopins biodegradable markers to send a message locally

Use Poopins biodegradable markers to send a message on stray poop.

Why do people avoid scooping poop? And would Poopins really help?

Why do people not scoop poop? There are many reasons this could be a problem in your area, and it’s not just human laziness! Some cultures do not scoop at all, it’s normal and accepted in some countries to leave the piles of poop. In fact, I had one co-worker (relocated to the USA a couple years previous) incredulous that I picked up my dog’s waste, insisting that I shouldn’t – that was his social norm. I had to explain the reasons behind scooping poop, and why it’s the norm here and in many other countries.

But starting a “cold” conversation is difficult, having it received by open ears is even harder, and that’s where the Poopins biodegradable markers can help. Whether the issue is due to laziness, forgetting, or cultural these small tags can help start a conversation in an open, humorous way. Which leads to much more effective, and likely, results.

Starting a conversation about poop effectively

As with my coworker mentioned above, starting a conversation is key but it’s often difficult to do so in a way that’s effective. If you approach a stranger on a walk who leaves a pile, even someone you recognize in passing, “educating” them about scooping poop will often result in defensiveness. And someone who is defensive will not change their ways. So what now?

You can use the Poopins markers to start a conversation in a fun way. Because the messages are lighthearted, and the pins themselves are unique, they will start neighbors talking about this issue. Most of us don’t like being told what to do, and when others try to “educate” us on anything in person (from food to leash habits), we often shut down and become defensive. Poopins helps avoid that issue by starting the conversation using humor and not necessarily attaching it to an individual, taking the defensiveness and finger pointing out of the equation. It’s a creative solution to a smelly problem.

Lots of different messages available on Poopins biodegradable markers

Lots of different humorous messages available on Poopins biodegradable markers.

Eco friendly, fun messages, inexpensive neighborhood change

Poopins are mini biodegradable “signs” that you can leave in stray piles of poop your neighbors are not picking up. They come loaded with funny sayings that puts a light spin on a serious message, letting you start a conversation with those not picking up after their dogs without starting the conversation out on the wrong foot.

Something as unique as biodegradable poop markers is bound to be noticed and discussed locally, and it’s also quite likely that those leaving the piles will come across one of the Poopins signs since most of us have a pretty consistent daily walk! I know I would stop to see what the message is all about, so too will those who leave the piles around. Something like this would probably be the talk at the dog park or the local dog hangout, amplifying your mini local campaign. It also shows the non-dog-owning public that a problem is being addressed.

What’s really neat about the “pins” is that they are made from rockstone, which breaks down naturally in sunlight. They’ll stand up to the poop and rain, but eventually break down with the poop itself. Therefore, you can have your say and make a difference locally, but ultimately not leave a mark of your own. If you’re as interested in this technology as I am, here’s a little bit more info about what the pins are made of:

Rockstone is made from waste from the building Industry. Offcuts and waste stone rock, marble and tiles are ground to make the paper. Rockstone is photodegradable reverting to a calcium carbonate dust after extended periods in the sun. No trees are cut down to make this paper and the carbon footprint is low. (Source)

Will your own Poopins “mini campaign” make a long term difference?

Something as unique and attention grabbing as Poopins could easily be the talk of the “dog neighbors” if used on your local streets. With restrictions being placed upon dogs in most HOAs and urban areas, being responsible dog humans is incredibly important to avoid even more (sometimes crazy or unreasonable) restrictions being instigated (Santa Cruz, CA not allowing dogs on some of their city streets at all comes to mind!). The occasional “mini campaign” to help remind your neighbors to pick up after themselves could be enough to make a difference for all local dog households.

Encouraging dog owning citizens to participate in responsible dog and neighborhood care helps both responsible and… “learning to be responsible” dog humans alike.

Check out the Poopins Kickstarter

You can find Poopins biodegradable dog poop markers on Kickstarter. The campaign runs until June 12, 2015.

You can find out more information on their website, FAQ, and also in the following video:

What message would you like to see on a Poopin? How would your neighbors react? Let us know in the comments!

This post is sponsored by Poopins. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Poopins and their Kickstarter project, but DOGthusiast.com only shares information I feel is relevant to readers. Poopins is not responsible for the content of this article.

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.

  • OMG, these are hilarious, and such a great idea!

    • I totally love the sense of humor these guys have! I can really see people looking down and laughing at poop (and then hopefully picking it up!)

  • Jessica Rhae

    How fun. When I was working in water quality, many watchdog groups started making signs like these out of survey markers. It’s cool to see them hitting “mainstream” almost 5 years later.

  • Here in Jackson WY where xcDogs.com started, there is a big problem at the National Forest land: Cache Creek. It was closed for a week this spring as a warning that poo needs to be picked up. Our founder, Sally, likes these pins and may have to try them out! GOod luck on kickstarter, poopins !

  • Lindsay Stordahl

    Gosh, I don’t know about these but they are a funny idea and they are sure to get some people talking at least. Not sure if they will actually encourage people to pick up after their dogs. I hope so!