Thursday, March 21, 2013

This one's for the ladies (but men should read it too)!

This post has been difficult to write. The subject matter is ah, sensitive, and I wish to describe my experiences in a tasteful and instructive manner. Yet, the very name of this blog is Trashy Woman and I am committed to writing in a particular frank, comical style that hopefully inspires and amuses.  Therefore, a quick word of warning for those about to embark on the journey of reading this essay.  It is not for the weak! This is real life! It's dirty, messy and sometimes embarrassing but the truth is we all have to live it.  So own it! Don't be afraid to let it all hang out because, someone out there has questions that they're afraid to ask. If you can educate and entertain, then you've really accomplished something good for someone.  Don't say I didn't warn you...

So. How many readers out there are women? Most of you? If you're not a woman, do you know any? Yeah, we're kind of hard to avoid. Women are everywhere.  How many women do you know who are between the ages of 12-50?  A lot? Most of the women you know, probably?  Yeah, well, nearly all of them menstruate every 21-45 days for about 2-7 days at a time.  That's a sh*t ton of tampons and maxi pads, pantyliners and applicators.  And you can't really flush tampons, even if it says that on the box.  Of course, some tampons are better for the environment than others but there is still a lot of waste associated with them.  OB brand might not have an applicator to have to toss out, but the cotton plug still gets wrapped around and around with toilet paper before it gets tossed in the trash.  I don't even want to get into the whole bleached cotton aspect and its health impact on our bodies and the environment. That's not what the focus of this blog is about.  And what about pads? Maxi, mini, overnight, thong! So many kinds and they are all made up of plastic and cotton that get thrown away in the silver mail box in public bathroom stalls. You wouldn't want other women to know that you're menstruating by having to walk out of the stall with your carefully wrapped bloody feminine care product! So many issues...but again, this blog is about trash reduction, not our "lady shame."

I've been menstruating for 25 years. 25 YEARS! And it's not over yet, oh no, I've got at least another 12 or so years to go.  So let's see - that is approximately 1500 days of my life so far that I've bled out of my vagina. Horrifying, isn't it? 1500 days that I've thrown away adult lady diapers and cotton corks.  How many women did you say you know, again? I think it's time we put a stop to this mess.
I started out my young womanhood using only pads. Why? Because that's what Mom used.  I wanted to go swimming, but I couldn't.  I wanted to wear clothes that fit, but I was afraid someone would see the pad through my clothes. There were no 'wings' back then (remember the first commercials - "The darn thing's got wings!") and sometimes there was uncomfortable bunching. It was not long before I demanded Mother buy me some tampons. (I wasn't going to buy them myself! Someone might see me and know that I had flowered! Oh, the shame.)  These tampon things were tricky. First of all -- where the hell did they go? My body did not look like the line drawing in the instructions and I guess a photo of a real vagina in the packaging would somehow end up in the hands of boys to be used as porn. My mother offered to help. Um, no thanks. I'll figure it out.  
Reading the instructions I discovered that I needed to change these tampops every 4-6 hours or else I would get the terrifying TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME.  If I went swimming, change it.  Don't fall asleep with one in unless you only sleep four hours at a time.  And have you heard the rumor? I know this girl who knows another girl and her friend wasn't feeling well and she went to the doctor and she had lost a tampon inside of her, or was it that she put two in on accident? 
The first tampons I used were Tampax brand. They were long and skinny back then and came with a cardboard applicator.  Oftentimes, they would elongate when they got wet instead of expanding wider and they would start to come out of my body in a very annoying way, sometimes they would just fall out when I would use the toilet. Really annoying.
I moved on to OB.  They claimed to be better for the environment because there was no applicator to toss out.  OB had a different shape, too.  They were shorter and expanded sideways as they absorbed so they stayed in and were much more comfortable.  The difficulty was actually getting them in without the applicator. You kind of have to be a contortionist and they are a bit dry on those 'light' days.  Ouch. And the string! I hate the string - it's a wick! The string is just always wet and dirty and in the way. Nasty. 
And you know what? It sucked, every minute of it, but I dealt with it and accepted it because I didn't know of any other way to live. What are you going to do? This was my lot in life because I was born female.  I had been on the pill for 10 years and that helped, my period was only two-three days instead of the off-pill seven, and the bleeding was lighter so there was less waste, but I began to feel weird about chemically altering my body unnecessarily.  I was getting older and knew there were risks of blood clots. It saved us money. Plus, I was getting kind of fat.  That's a terrible reason to go off the pill maybe, but there it is.  

So here I am today. Turning 39 years old one month from today.  Trying to examine my habits and change my approach to the trash I create. Writing a blog about it.  The feminine hygiene products are staring me in the face, mocking me.  What do I do? I talk to my friends, of course. FRIENDS! They are an amazing resource of knowledge and will tell you openly about their completely-different-from-yours life experiences.  I learned about the DivaCup. What? You haven't heard of it? Well neither had I! Don't feel bad, I'm here to share it with you, and it will change your period forever.  

Game Changer
The DivaCup is a silicone (you know, like your Teflon-safe spatula) cup that is flexible and fits right up in your hoo-hah and collects all the blood and gore that is your menstruation.  You can leave it in up to 12 hours, pull it out, dump it in the toilet, wash it out, put it back it in, from day 1 to however long your period lasts.  I have now used it for two cycles and I will never go back to tampons. NEVER.  My first experiences were not perfect, a bit messy, but here is my list of pros and cons;
-comfortable, can't feel it
-can leave it for 12 hours
-no gross string 
-no waste
-doesn't get wet when swimming
-doesn't leak if you insert it properly
-silicone is pretty slippery for easy insertion
-easy to remove
-no odor
-you need access to a sink when you remove it
-private bathroom with a lock on the door is a must because it takes a little time and agility to deal with it
-gotta angle it right, but after a little practice, no problem (I recommend using a panty liner with it until you're confident it is right)
-silicone starts to break down eventually so you will have to replace it after about a year or so (Oh, well.) I found this insightful;

Now, let's talk about the pads. They suck, everybody knows it, but they have their time and place.  Ha. Did I just make a period joke? No? Oh well, nevermind.
The answer is Lunapads. This company is awesome.  For every Lunapad you buy, they donate to One4Her - a company in Uganda that employs women to make washable menstrual pads for girls in Africa.  The young women in a lot of developing countries don't have access to feminine products and have to stay home from school during their periods.  All these missed school days often leads to dropping out because they can't keep up with their school work.  Lack of education leads to... everything bad. 
Apple blossom!
I bought my DivaCup from this company and some pantyliners and overnight pads.  They are made from flannel and snap around your underwear.  The overnight length comes with additional inserts for heavy protection and they stay together by sliding the ends under some rickrack sewn across the top the bottom.  The fabric stays in place, they are soft and warm and comfy (Maybe not so great in summer? We'll see...).  Easy to clean - toss in the washer or hand wash in the morning while you're showering. Love them. And, you can pick from several patterns of fabric, so they're pretty too! As a bonus, they don't smell. At all. Really. I can't recommend supporting this company enough.  The pads are made really well and shipped very quickly.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read this post. Please share this blog with your friends if you found it helpful, amusing, disturbing or empowering. We're all on this planet together and I hope we can help each other make it not only a better place, but an easier place to live in. Life is really hard but sometimes you find a thing that lifts you up and for me, the DivaCup and Lunapads did that. Pass it on. Thanks!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A funny thing happened on the way to Happy Hour...

So despite the fact that I fear this blog is becoming all about dog poop, I need to share this funny story with you all.  
Part 1

My tiny hand, not Sam's monstrous paw.
I was starting to run low on the Flush Doggy bags, so I decided to try out a different brand.  They came in the mail a few weeks ago but I hadn't tried them out yet. I still had the others and Rhea was mostly still going potty in the yard since it's been so damn cold.  But, we had a nice day outside and I had free time, so I took her around the block and decided to try out the new bags.  The are called The Flushable Bag and they claim to be the only flushable dog poo bag not made in China.  They looked promising! Green, large enough for Sam's giant hand, and filmy. All sorts of recommendations linked to their website from trusted sources! I could just tell that they would dissolve easily in the toilet and wouldn't clog my system.  

Well, I was right! When I got home from our walk, I tossed the bag in the water and it immediately started twisting and shrinking and melting. After a minute, I flushed it away, no problem.  OK, one problem. There was no poop in it. You see, after Rhea did her business in the snow, I picked it up (which wasn't all that easy -- it was a big one and these new bags aren't flexible or stretchy), along with some of the snow (it couldn't be helped).  And we continued on our way.  For 15 feet.  I stopped to take a look at the bag to see how it was performing and THERE WAS ALREADY A HOLE IN THE BOTTOM. I had just enough time to start to flip the bag upside down, thinking I could balance it in my gloved palm on the thicker, extra, twisted bag material at the top when it all came dropping out.  Do you know what shit sounds like when it hits the ground from about 4 feet in the air?  
May not be suitable for hot dumps in snow, either.

Picture cows, horses, camels, elephants. Plopping onto frozen tarmac early in the morning while everyone is sleeping in their warm beds and I stand alone in the silent icy-white village. Silent that is, until I start laughing. Hysterically. At myself. By myself. Cackling, really. What could I do? I didn't bring a back-up bag. I walked away.

Part 2
Hours pass. The sun starts to sink toward the west. Sam comes home from work. I've spent my day off in a decently relaxing manner. It's time for Happy Hour.  Although our village is small and we could easily walk to our favorite watering hole, Sam drives us because it's like 10 degrees Fahrenheit.  I mention that we should stop on our way so that I can pick up the poorly placed dog poo that Rhea and I left behind earlier.  Sam is not happy about this.  I win the debate over whether this is necessary and around the block we go with a sturdier bag in hand.  
 Flushable Bag on top, Flush Doggy on the bottom
Sam pulls over the car where I point and I get out.  My loving partner pulls the car level with me and rolls down the window.  I am struggling to grab the now-frozen, stuck to the ground dog crap.
"Hey Lady! Whatcha doin?" Loudly.
"Are you pickin' up dog poop?" Even louder. I start giggling.
"I don' see no dog wi'choo." The voice is becoming a very thick 'redneck' accent. I laugh harder. "We don' need no dog to pick up poop, do we? Nuh uh!" 
I scurry to flip the bag poop-side-in and run to the passenger side of the car and jump in. A lady with an actual dog is starting to walk up the road toward us and I definitely don't want her to hear Sam mocking me. The dog poo is now at my feet in the car and we drive toward the nearest public trash can and beyond that, Happy Hour. At least it's frozen, it doesn't smell.  I really need that drink.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rhea of the Poos

I did it. I succeeded at overcoming a formidable challenge. I have solved the dog shit problem. (waits for applause to die down) Thank you. Thank you.

Remember Flush Doggy ? Those 'flushable' dog poo bags that clogged my toilet? Well, guess what?  They DO work! All I had to do was dump the poo out of the bag into the water and toss the bag in afterward.  Close the lid, walk away for a few minutes while I get ready for work, come back and flush. No smell. No 'is it or isn't it' moments. Just. Flush. And Away! I have done this 3 times now with complete success.
Rhea of the Poos - her full name

I really must credit my friend Midge for this idea even though it says right in the instructions for Flush Doggy that large dog poo might have to be dumped out of the bag first. I just didn't know what 'large' meant - I mean, large is relative, right? If they had said, if your dog's dump weighs more than an entire chihuahua, I might have understood.  Or if they had said, if it looks like you're carrying a rotten grapefruit around in your poo bag, your dog crap is too large to flush in the bag, then I totally would have tried this method sooner. But I own an 80 pound teacup hound, so her doodie can't be big. 
Of course, sometimes I have to use two hands to pick it up, but I just thought that was because I have small hands*. 
*actual size

So now I have two new problems.
1. I sent back all my unopened packages of Flush Doggy.  
2. They got a bad review from me. Feel kinda bad about that one. Now I need to write a good review and apologize.

Two days to make all this waste! 
The good is definitely outweighing the bad here.  No more piles of poop-filled grocery sacks! No more stinky garbage can! Hooray! 
I am still going to try out a new brand, there is one that is made in the USA, so I'm going to give them a go. Perhaps the saga will continue in the next installment when I try out (ominous music playsThe Flushable Bag! Ooh! Aah!

I love this beast.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

More Failures for YOU to learn by! You're Welcome.

I had written a blog which I published on December 16, 2012 under the name "TCSWMD -- What Would Tompkins County Solid Waste Management Division recycle?" In this blog, there is a link to the recycling guide for Tompkins County. Like this; TC Recycling Guide.  In the section of the guide, Additional Recyclables Accepted at the RSWC (recycling and solid waste center), it says that Textiles are accepted. Textiles are any cloth or goods produced by weaving, knitting, or felting, according to  

Well, I went there, happy as a hooker at a fishnet factory 
happy hooker or solitary sadist?
with my garbage bag full of old scraps of jeans and felted wool, cotton cuttings and acetate blends from old bridesmaid dresses only to be told that the only fabric they accept is clean, wearable clothing.  I was as sad as a solitary sadist
I still think that our recycling center is amazing, but the glint off the solar panel is a little dustier, as they say. Ok, no one says that, but I'm trying to coin a new phrase, so give me a break.  
Is the brochure misleading? Um, DUH!
 It definitely should have said, "Clean, Wearable Clothing" instead of "Textiles." If I had clean, wearable clothing, my first thought for recycling them is certainly not the RSWC! Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Mama Goose, and Trader K's; these are places I think of for donating clothes.  So what the hell am I supposed to do with all these cut up old clothes!?! I am tired of making shitty crafts out of them and I want them out of my life.  For years I have tried making cute little handbags and Christmas stockings and dog sweaters and shirts and skirts and patching holes in jeans with varying degrees of success. 
Everyone's a critic.
My dear Sam will say that I'm very good at these things but frankly, I'm sick of all that shit. I want a fresh start in my craft room. A fresh start begins with a good cleaning.  I gathered up all the nice sections of fabric and pre-cut quilting pieces and gave them to my mother, who is an avid quilter.  
I <3 U, Mom!

I will probably get many of those cloths back in blanket form.  This is ok, blankets are always good to have around, especially when they're made by someone you love, it's the disassembled form that I don't want around. The problem is, the stuff in the bag. You know, the bag I was taking to be recycled, before I was snatched out of my fantasy land where everything stays out of the landfill?  This stuff is just about useless to anyone except someone just like me.  
Maybe I'll put it on Freecycle and see if there are any crafty people left out there. 
Ahhh, Freecycle! But that's a story for another day...
Until then ---
Stay Trashy, Ithaca!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Post-Holiday List for List Lovers

Everyone loves a "12 days of Christmas" list this time of year and I am no different. I am just a little slower in getting mine out than most, more organized people. In honor of the season, here is my list of the things I have given up to help reduce my trash volume;
1. Baby Wipes
These were a difficult product to eliminate. Wet wipes are so wonderful for so many uses. They're not just for babies, anymore!  Not only are they great for the traditional wiping up, but they also remove eye make-up quickly and tearlessly, they make for a quick freshening after a trip to the gym, and I've been known to grab one to do some spontaneous toilet/sink cleaning. However, they cannot be flushed away and the brands that can be flushed are more expensive. I would be willing to pay more to be able to flush them but, Sam uses a lot of wipes and it's just not in the budget.
2. Bleach Wipes
See above (but take out all that stuff about using them on your body!).
3. Dryer Sheets
OK, so honestly, I'm still using them but I'm going to stop, I swear.  I'm switching to liquid fabric softener after this box of sheets is gone but I bought a HUGE box at BJ's. Instead of tossing them out after doing laundry, I've been putting them inside our shoes, in dresser drawers, in the dog bed, under the couch cushions, anywhere I can think of that could use a little extra fragrance. I've heard dryer sheets are also good bug repellent so, if I run out of places to stick them, I'll just start saving them in a bag for the summer.
4. Microwave Popcorn
Made in America, bitches!
This one hurt. I bought a microwave last year after rejecting one for years because I love popcorn so much. For years I got by with an ancient air-popper, melting the butter in an aluminum measuring cup (good heat conductor) by balancing it on top of the popper or putting the butter cup in the bowl before the corn actually started popping.  I was eating a lot of salt and butter and dirtying a lot a dishes. So microwaving really killed two birds with one stone. Of course, it's not that I don't use the microwave for anything else, I use it all the time for all sorts of things, but it was really all about the popcorn. Unfortunately, when you buy microwavable popcorn, you are buying a lot of packaging, too... the outside box, the plastic wrap and the bag itself. Only the outer box is recyclable. =(

5. Taking Home Leftovers
I've never actually gotten one of these
I just can't remember to bring a container with me when I go out to dinner. Best case scenario, I remember on my way to the restaurant.  It drives me crazy.  So, I only order what I know I can eat all of or, I share an entree with Sam. Sometimes, depending on the meal, I will ask for a piece of aluminum foil in which to wrap my food.  That only works if the item in question is not overly wet and saucy.  And you need to not worry about what the waiters thinks of you.  I've gotten some weird looks from waitstaff for asking for tin foil. And that brings me to;
6. Caring what other people think
Granted, I've always been on the strange side and did things the way I wanted to regardless of what was popular.  Being different has always been more appealing to me than just fitting in.  I have gone through phases of dyeing my hair crazy colors, piercings, wild hairstyles, making my own clothes, listening to every kind of music, being vegetarian, being dairy-free, trying sex and drugs and rock-n-roll.  But everything I did all stemmed from the same idea - to be one person, rejecting the status quo, making a difference, helping the planet to survive our human nature to devour all of its resources for our profit. That profit might be money or health but either way, it's for our gain. We can't help it - we want to survive and be comfortable and warm and drive anywhere we want on a whim and eat exotic foods and take our miracle drugs. So I don't care if the waitress thinks I'm odd for rejecting the Styrofoam clamshell container. I don't care if my clothes come from the Salvation Army or if they're hand-me-downs from friends.  I love antiques! They're being reused! My old vacuum tube TV still works, so I'm not replacing it until I have to. Why create demand for new products when we have so much stuff already? Don't tell me jobs, because NO ONE WANTS TO WORK IN A FACTORY. So there. We'll just have to fix the economy by creating other types of work.
7. Using a grocery bag to pick up dog poop
Now, if you've read my previous blogs, you know about my ongoing war with dog shit.  I used to think that reusing my grocery bags for poo was a good thing. After some reflection on the subject, I now believe I'm better off using the much smaller made-for-the-purpose dog poop bags. My idea now is, dump the poo out of the bag, into the toilet, place the dirty bag in emptied, and flush. I will try this the next time I walk the dog with the current bags (don't tell Sam) but for now, there is too much snow and salt on the ground for the dog to want to go far. She just runs out in the yard, does her thing, and runs back in to the warm, soft couch. We are both pleased with this arrangement.
8. Paper plates & Napkins
Sam and I threw a New Year's Eve party. It was awesome. About 16 of us in our tiny house with tons of appetizers and various potables, sitting around in our pjs playing a new card game called "Cards Against Humanity" and dancing to our eclectic mix of old vinyl records. 
 We ate and drank from 8pm to 3am and the next morning I only had two grocery bags full of trash after I cleaned up.  How is this possible? No paper plates, no paper napkins, no plastic cups.  I did a very minimal amount of dish washing during the party, just a few tiny plates and threw everything into the dishwasher in the morning.  I hand washed the pots and pans and champagne glasses, of course, but that was no big deal. The cloth napkins, towels (for mopping up spilled drinks...) and tablecloths got tossed into the washing machine. Honestly, I would have had only one bag of trash except that I decided not to compost the party food. I can hear the intake of breath hissing through your teeth right now! Why not, you ask?  Well, there is 14" of snow and 50' between me and my compost pile right now. So until the snow melts down a bit, I've suspended the composting.  I also didn't want to have to police what went into the compost bucket - if someone drunkenly tossed in cheese or meat, I just didn't want to pick through it in the morning when I might have been feeling under the weather.
9. Disposable Batteries
What says, "Merry Christmas, Honey, I love you!" more than rechargeable batteries? I don't know! That's why I bought them for Sam.  Isn't my sweetie lucky to have me?
10. Cheap Razors
I've practically given up on shaving, anyway, but when summer rolls around and I am feeling the heat, somehow shaving makes me feel like I'm doing all I can to keep cool.  Sam, on the other hand, has recently shown a renewed interest in the art of shaving so, I bought a razor that has replaceable heads. Is this a major break through in trash reduction? Probably not, but it's a list of 12 things and I'm running out of good ideas. Sorry.
11. Tossing out plastic bags that come with packaged food
A lot of food comes wrapped in many layers of protection so that it can arrive to your kitchen undamaged and fresh.  Cereal, crackers, ice cream sandwiches, bags of salad, frozen dumplings, I could go on forever and forever. So much plastic! I have started saving all sorts of those bags that are clean and recycling them at the grocery store where they take back the used plastic bags. Are they just throwing them away? Do they recycle them? I don't know.  Hopefully, whoever picks up these bags will get the message that we need to be addressing all this extra packaging. 
12. Buying small when I can buy in bulk
I love BJ's. hee hee. One exception - toilet paper. I can buy individual rolls that are wrapped with a paper cover but, if I buy in bulk, the same toilet paper comes packaged together in a giant plastic bag. Boooo! I understand the dilemma. A giant box might be more difficult to ship without creasing the corners, but maybe we're being just a little too picky about the condition of our packaging. Do you buy the crinkled cereal box? Or pick through until you find one that's perfect? Even though the stuff inside in undamaged?

So, that's my list. Hope you liked it. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

TCSWMD -- What would Tompkins County Solid Waste Management Division recycle?

So I bet you're thinking, it's been a few weeks and I haven't heard anything from Trashy Woman. She's probably run out of ideas or decided that it was too hard to reduce her garbage output to zero and gave up. Well, naysayers, you could not be farther from the truth. I have been hard at work doing research, recycling, composting, hanging out with friends, working at my full time job and generally being patient.  Good garbage reduction takes time.  I can't just go all willy-nilly and buy all the different flushable dog poo bags that are out there (That would be exciting, though, wouldn't it?)! So, while I'm waiting for the funding to come through on my latest project (that would be the paycheck after I pay the mortgage...) allow me to indulge myself with discussing something in which I am already successful. It will help me with the whole patience thing.
A boring picture of my paper recycling
Recycling in Tompkins County is a wondrous marvel of modern science. Have you seen the latest Tompkins County Recycling Guide? I can't believe the changes that have been made in just the last two years. You can recycle so many different things, it's not just bottles and cans and newspapers these days, no sir!  The curbside pick up for residential areas has a dizzying array of acceptable items now.
3 jars of peanut butter in this shot, cleaned out by my dog

Some recent additions to the growing list of recyclables include;
-jar lids
-plastic flower pots
-small, hard plastics, like toys
-take-out containers
-hard cover books

These items are quite a boon to avid recycle-rs  like myself.  In fact, I just tossed an old pair of sunglasses in the bin that had a broken arm. And flower pots! Wow, that was a big one for me. You can't imagine how many flower pots I used to throw away every day at my workplace. I used to try to save them and donate them every year to the big local plant sale but they just build up and take up space and you get to a certain point where you're just like, ok, enough damn pots sitting around in boxes around here, Trashy, this is a business, and it needs to look like one. Oh, did I mention I work at a flower shop with a huge plant selection and that we make our own dishgardens on-site? Lots o' pots.

Not my favorite book
As for hard cover books, I've had a few that were so bad they deserved to never be read again, but I've always passed them on for someone else to decide their fate. Who am I to criticize what someone thought was good enough to publish? One woman's trash, after all, is another woman's beach read. Books that have been given to me that are too embarrassing to even try to sell to the used book store usually go to the laundromat or bus stop. I like to leave them anonymously around town and hope that someone will take them home and enjoy them more than I did. 

So there are some things that appear to be fit for the bin, like the ice cream cone and mushroom foam containers pictured below.  Notice the recycling symbol and I believe it was a #6 stamped on there.  However, Styrofoam is still not allowed. According to the Tompkins County guidelines, #1 through #7 plastics are bin worthy. So, I threw them in. 
Recyclable or not?

I had a wonderful conversation with a friend last night who suggested we should take a tour of the recycling facility if they allow it. It would be very interesting to see how the single-stream recycling works, how different items get separated and what happens to everything once it's been organized. Where does it go to get turned into all the things that are made from our garbage? 
I can't wait to find out!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bad, Flush Doggy, Bad!

The disappointment is almost too much to bear. Ok, it's not that bad. But it's close. I was so excited and I've been let down, hard.  I had ordered these flushable dog poop bags on Amazon and I was anticipating the joy of watching those white bags swirl down the porcelain bowl and away from my life.  I could picture the clean beauty that would be my outdoor garbage can, stink free and easy. They're called Flush Doggy and they purport to be "100% Flushable & Biodegradable Poop Bags." In my personal experience, this is a bold-faced lie.
After researching a few options and watching some very strange testimonials on YouTube, I choose Flush Doggy because they seemed to be the right product for the job.
The instructions on how to use the bag is quite clear.
1. pick up poop
2. flush it

Well step 1 was easy enough. It was step 2 I had a problem with. It's always #2 that causes a problem, isn't it? 
Now, I'm not naive, I knew there was a good chance that this whole thing could backfire (haha) and therefore, I was prepared.  Toilet lid, up! Rain boots, on! Towels and plunger, at hand!  Cautiously, I placed the poo bag in the water.  My expectation was that the bag would instantly start to dissolve, based on videos that I'd watched.  This did not happen. Nothing happened. The bag sat there looking baggish.  The only change was that it really started to smell like dog shit in my tiny, unventilated bathroom. So, I flushed.
Instantly, the bag disappeared and my toilet started to fill to the brim with water.  Dammit! I waited, though, and watched. The water level stopped rising and just leveled off. Some water was still trickling in but it was also going down the same amount. After deciding to walk away and ignore the whole situation for a few minutes, I turned my back on the toilet. A gurgling, sucking, shlurping sound made me spin back around in time to witness the water suddenly vanish down into the pipes. The commode refilled in it's normal manner. I was relieved (haha).  
Two days later, I decided to give it another go (enough with the potty humor, already!). What had I done wrong the first time? Did I not wait long enough before flushing? This time, I would close the lid and go into the other room and give it some rest in the water for a bit. Surely, this was the answer.
This was not the answer.
I had to plunge and Sam witnessed it. No more Flush Doggy for this family. I'm returning them and getting my money back. 
So, back to the drawing board on this issue.  Maybe a different brand works better? Before I try another flushable bag, I'm going to have to find a different toilet to use, because those things are not going in mine!  
I had a discussion last night with some friends on the subject and they brought up some good ideas.  Perhaps some sort of diaper pail/cloth diaper type system will work. I'm looking into it.