How Bio-Burial compares to other alternatives
The loss of a beloved pet is a deeply emotional experience, and choosing how to handle their remains is a decision that many pet owners find challenging. As environmental awareness continues to grow, so does the interest in eco-friendly options for dealing with pet remains. How does our eco-friendly Bio-Burial compare to other options?
Unfortunately there are no pet cemeteries in South Africa and to privately bury a pet at home is not safe or allowed. While this was done many times in the past by well-meaning pet owners who were not aware of the law, it is actually illegal in South Africa. The only option is to have your pet taken to a designated landfill area. The public may not visit this area, so one cannot “visit your pets grave” in any way. Also, the leaching of harmful pathogens and chemicals into the ground, as well as harmful carbon and methane gas emissions into the atmosphere, make this an environmentally harmful option. IT smells bad and birds and rodents can get hold of the animal’s remains and scatter them. Many animals remains are also dumped illegally on landfills (without the owners knowing), which is not only emotionally very upsetting, but also has environmental consequences.
Of course the wish to bury one’s pet at home the “traditional” way, comes from the understandable desire of wanting ones pet’s remains to being close by or having a place to “visit them” afterwards, but this need can easily be fulfilled with our Bio-Burial (Return of Compost) option in a safe and legal way.
Many pet owners consider cremation instead. This process means that the pet’s remains are subjected to high temperatures until bone fragments remain, which are then ground into a powder. The small amount of powder can then be placed in an urn or scattered in a special place. However, cremations (especially mass cremations) require high energy input and can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, depending on the method used. Also with mass cremations, a pet owner can’t be sure that they will receive the remains of their own pet in the end.
Aquamation (Alkaline Hydrolysis)
Aquamation is a relatively new option which uses water, heat, and alkaline chemicals to break down the remains, leaving behind only a jelly-like substance and bone fragments. The process uses less energy compared to cremation and doesn’t involve the combustion of fossil fuels. The sterile liquid byproduct can be safely disposed of, and the bone fragments can be processed into a powder similar to ashes. This does make aquamation more eco-friendly than some other alternatives. Aquamation can be more expensive than other methods due to the specialized equipment required. Also it is not available for pets in South Africa at the moment.
Open composting graves
There is also an a process involving open composting graves, which at first glance sounds similar to our Bio-Burial process, but means that the animals remains will be in the open, not in a safe container such as our Bio-Burial process. This means there is still leaching of harmful pathogens and chemicals into the ground. It is very smelly and animals may get hold of the remains.
Eco-Friendly Composting (such as our Bio-Burial option)
At EarthPet we focus on the Bio-Burial option, which we believe to be the most eco-friendly process. Composting is a natural phenomenon in which organic matter decomposes and transforms into nutrient-rich soil. This process can be extended to pet burials, offering an environmentally friendly way to return a pet’s remains to the earth. Our Bio-Burial process is completely safe for the environment. No harmful chemicals are used or seep into the ground and the carbon footprint is minimal. The resulting compost can be used to nourish plants and gardens, creating a positive cycle that contributes to local ecosystems. Composting burials are also affordable and although the process takes some time, at the end the pet owner can take the nutrient-rich compost home (when choosing the Return of Compost option) and use it in a thoughtful way to honour the pet’s memory, like planting a tree.
The loss of a pet is a deeply personal experience, and the choice of how to handle their remains is equally personal. Our Bio-Burial is an environmentally conscious option that connects the pet’s life cycle to the natural world which we believe helps pet owners to honour their companion’s memory while also contributing to the planet’s well-being.
If you would like to sign up for our Pet Farewell Plan, you can pay a once off-fee now for the Bio-Burial, so when that sad day comes you are already covered at today’s rate. You will even get a certificate to confirm this and have no further worry during that emotional time. Read more on our website: https://earthpet.co.za/pet-farewell-plan/