Green cremation is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cremation and burial methods. The method is referred to as Resomation or Alkaline hydrolysis, which is a water and alkali based alternative to burial and cremation. By using an environmentally friendly water-based solution, the impact to the environment is significantly less when compared to a traditional cremation that uses fire.
Green cremation will not harm the environment the way that a traditional cremation will. All types of cremation involve the use of chemicals and/or other methods for a body to be decomposed and reduced to ashes. The cremation process will always have some impact to the environment; however, the methods used in a green cremation are considered to be less aggressive to the planet. Studies have shown that a green cremation reduces a funeral home’s emissions of green house gasses by 35%.
The process of a green cremation is rather simple and only takes up a fraction of the time compared to conventional crematory services. It starts out with a body being placed in a capsule-like compartment. From then, it is filled with potassium hydroxide and water. The liquid is heated and gently circulated. After a couple of hours, what are left of the body are bones, which will be grounded then returned to the relatives. The liquid is disposed of through a sanitary sewer system, or can be used in a memorial garden or other green space.
Advantages of Green Cremation
There are numerous benefits of a green cremation, which makes it a better alternative compared to a traditional cremation. The fact that it poses less risk to the environment is the primary reason people choose Resomation. In a traditional cremation the body is burned, which emits toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. The benefits of a green cremation include gas, electricity and carbon dioxide usage cut by more than 60%. Furthermore, there are no emissions of mercury, implants will be recovered fully, a maximum pH of 8 on liquid remains, and the carbon footprint is less than 18 times that of a standard cremation.
Green cremation also has benefits over a traditional burial. Resomation does not involve the usage of embalming chemicals that are used in a traditional burial, which can harm the environment. The green cremation process has less impact on the environment, compared to burying a body in a cemetery, which can disturb the local ecosystem. In addition, as land becomes less available, cremation is the environmentally friendly and less costly choice compared to burial.
If you are opting for a cremation, you should definitely consider a green cremation. The Resomation process may seem foreign to most people, but when compare to a traditional cremation it makes a lot of sense. Not only is it better for the environment, but also it is dignified and respectful. Furthermore, like a traditional cremation, in a green cremation “ash” is returned to the family to be handled however they choose. Because of its numerous advantages for the environment, green cremation is the better alternative.
Updated: March 2, 2013