Whole Life Magazine

June/July 2015

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city of angels T he only thing able to cast a shadow on the joy and com- panionship pets bring their humans is having to bid that inevitable fi nal farewell. Aside from the grief we feel when our beloved furry friends leave their bodies behind, there is also the onerous task of deciding on a fi nal resting place for our fur babies. For those of us wanting to do right by the environment, it's a tough call to make. What's an eco-minded pet owner to do? Cremation has long been one of the go-to's for disposing of pet remains while still allowing us to hang onto a physical me- mento (the cremains) of the dearly departed, but as it turns out, this practice is not so great for air quality. Cremation (of humans, too) releases a host of pollutants, including carbon monoxide, mercury and other heavy metals into the air, which in turn settles back to the earth and groundwater. Good ol' fashioned burial may be a convenient choice for some, but not for renters or people lacking suffi cient yard space. Laws on at-home pet burials vary from city to city (it's techni- cally illegal in Los Angeles, for example), so law-abiding types might want to check with local animal control or health depart- ment authorities before proceeding. At-home burials should be done with an environmentally friendly box, plain wooden casket, simple shroud or nothing at all. Bury two- to three-feet deep to deter scavenger animals and accidental unearthings, and steer clear of water sources, as well as electric, gas or water lines. Des- ignated pet cemeteries are another burial option. An even greener alternative, called alkaline hydrolysis or aquamation, uses a water and alkali solution to decompose soft tissues, leaving only bone fragments behind. According to Newbury Park-based Peaceful Pets Aquamation, this process "has a carbon footprint that is only one-tenth of what fi re-based cremation produces, cuts natural gas use by 90 percent, carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent, electricity by 66 percent, and it is 100 percent mercury-free." The resulting water from the pro- cess, if it tests at the proper pH level, can even be recycled as a nutrient-rich plant fertilizer, truly completing the circle of life. And if you're thinking ahead to your own end of life? It works for humans, too. By Jessica Ridenour Do right by the earth in saying goodbye FINAL PET FAREWELL Your plate may be full, but what about your wallet? You already take a plateful of vitamins and supplements. Maybe it's time to start funding your health habit. My name is Marj and I can help you start your home-based nutrition business with an inter- national company for $25. Call me for a free CD: "Dead Doctors Don't Lie." 888.311.4311 june/july 2015 13

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