Man curled up floating in water. For discussion about water cremation.

S2E46: Water Cremation – The Green Option

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Water cremation is a green and cost-effective option to burial and cremation. Never heard of it? Well, you came to the right place! We’re about to tell you all about it.

What is Water Cremation?

For someone that like the idea of cremation, but not the fire, there is an alternative that is becoming increasingly popular, and has even less of an environmental impact: Flameless Cremation, or Alkaline Hydrolysis.

Alkaline hydrolysis uses water, alkaline chemicals, heat, and sometimes pressure and agitation, to accelerate natural decomposition, leaving bone fragments and a neutral liquid called effluent. The decomposition that occurs in alkaline hydrolysis is the same as that which occurs during burial, just sped up dramatically by the chemicals. The effluent is sterile, and contains salts, sugars, amino acids and peptides.

It’s also gentle to the body, breaking the soft tissues and organs down first, into a liquid that is an amazing fertilizer and can be used to grow plants. The remaining skeleton is clean, never burned, and returned to the family after being pulverized into a fine white powder. This can be used in a similar way to cremains.

The Green Choice

Water cremation produces zero emissions and gives the deceased the opportunity to return to and nourish the earth.  You can have a tree planted and watered with the liquid left over from this process.

Another option is a natural burial. Natural burials take place without embalming and without the concrete vaults that line graves in most modern cemeteries. Bodies are wrapped in a shroud or placed in a biodegradable casket, the idea being that they will decompose naturally. If placed in one of the natural cemeteries that double as a nature preserve, they even have a chance to contribute to the environment and the cycle of life.

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