When Rooted launched our recomposition service back in September 2017, we did not expect to receive inquiries from new clients asking us this question; "My cat died a few years ago and the cremation ash is just sitting in a box in my closet at home. What am I supposed to do with my pet cremation ash; I can't just throw it away?"
We heard countless stories of pet parents who had numerous pets cremated over the years and received the ash back from the pet crematory because they thought they wanted to honor their pets in this way. For most, especially suburban and urban dwellers, cremation historically is the only option when a pet passes. Increasingly people think they want the ash back from the crematory. If one does not take the ash back, many feel this might be disrespectful to just "throw away" the ash (or have the crematory dump it somewhere.) However, when the mourning wears off and the fog lifts, many of our clients expressed concern about what do you really do with cremation ash? Our clients started asking, "can you guys recompose my pet's ash?"
So a couple months ago we started saying yes after developing a process by which as can "recompose" pet ash turning it into nutrient rich soil. Our pet parents mail us pet cremains and we create Rooted Pet Memorial Soil (for FREE by the way). Pet ash or "cremains" (which is simply pulverized bone remains) is of little to no nutritional value and can be quite toxic. For example, despite claims by several "pet ash planting" products available today, one can not plant a tree (or anything living for that matter) directly in cremation ash without killing the tree or plant. With our expertise in commercial composting and years of creating safe, balanced and stable soil, we developed a way to blend the ash cremains into our soil so the ash would become safe for spreading, scattering and even planting. This has been a great development as this new service is really in line with our mission to honor both pets and the planet. Our clients love this service but again, to our surprise, most people love the idea of their pet ash becoming soil but still they do not have the time, expertise or space to really do anything with the recomposed soil. So again, with the prompting from our clients,
we started taking the newly recomposed "balanced" soil and "donating" the soil to restoration projects and tree plantings in Western Washington along with the other soil we create as a byproduct of our whole pet recomposition service. The amount of soil from this "pet ash donation program" at this point does not amount to much quantity but as Rooted grows and more people become away of this program (and all our pet loss products and services) we hope to make a real impact in terms of the environment. We are also seeing that in addition to the positive impact on our planet, our pet parent clients are finding more meaning and life in the loss of their pets knowing that the ash urn that was collecting dust in the closet is now being put to good and meaningful use.