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  • Writer's pictureJames Cook

The Rise of Water Cremation: An Eco-Friendly Alternative to Traditional Funerals

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

In recent years, a new and environmentally conscious trend has emerged in the world of end-of-life practices: water cremation, also known as Aquamation or alkaline hydrolysis. This innovative method is gaining popularity as a greener alternative to traditional cremation and burial. In this blog post, we will delve into the process of water cremation, explore its environmental benefits, and compare it to the conventional options, shedding light on why it's becoming a well-known choice for many individuals and families.

The Process of Water Cremation

Water cremation is a gentle and eco-friendly process that involves the use of water, heat, and alkaline chemicals to accelerate the natural decomposition of the body. Here's a breakdown of the steps involved:

  1. Preparation: The body is respectfully placed in a specially designed vessel.

  2. Alkaline Hydrolysis: The vessel is filled with a mixture of water and an alkaline solution. The combination of high temperature (around 350°F or 177°C) and pressure accelerates the natural breakdown of the body.

  3. Decomposition: Over a period of several hours, the body undergoes a process similar to natural decomposition, breaking down soft tissues and reducing the body to its basic elements.

  4. Residue: Once the process is complete, the remaining bones and any artificial implants (like pacemakers) are left. The bones are processed into a fine, ash-like substance and returned to the family, similar to traditional cremation.

Environmental Factors and Benefits

The environmental advantages of water cremation are remarkable, making it an attractive choice for environmentally conscious individuals and those seeking a sustainable afterlife option:

  1. Lower Carbon Footprint: Water cremation emits significantly fewer greenhouse gases compared to traditional cremation. This reduction in carbon emissions aligns with efforts to combat climate change.

  2. Energy Efficiency: Water cremation uses less energy than flame-based cremation, contributing to conservation of resources.

  3. No Emission of Harmful Chemicals: Unlike traditional cremation, which releases pollutants such as mercury from dental fillings into the atmosphere, water cremation filters out and captures these substances.

  4. Water Conservation: The process uses a fraction of the water required for traditional burial methods, reducing strain on water resources.

Comparing Water Cremation to Traditional Cremation

  1. Environmental Impact: As mentioned, water cremation has a significantly lower environmental impact due to its reduced carbon emissions and lack of harmful chemical releases.

  2. Remains: Both methods result in remains that can be returned to the family, but water cremation tends to leave behind more bone fragments due to the gentler process.

  3. Energy Consumption: Water cremation consumes less energy than traditional cremation.

  4. Cultural and Religious Considerations: Water cremation may align more closely with certain religious beliefs that emphasize natural processes and the return of the body to the earth.

The Growing Trend and Popularity

The shift towards eco-friendly practices is a driving force behind the growing popularity of water cremation. As societies become more conscious of their ecological impact, individuals are seeking greener alternatives in various aspects of life, including end-of-life decisions. Moreover, as information about water cremation becomes more widely available, people are realizing that they can make choices that align with their values while still maintaining a respectful and meaningful farewell for their loved ones.

In conclusion, as far as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional funerals goes, water cremation is emerging as a well-known and respected alternative to traditional cremation and burial. Its eco-friendly nature, lower carbon footprint, and reduced release of harmful chemicals make it an attractive option for those who want to leave a smaller environmental impact. As the trend continues to gain momentum, more individuals are discovering the benefits of water cremation, allowing them to make choices that reflect their values even in their final moments.

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