What Is Green Cremation?

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Green CremationGreen 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.

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| Your Tribute Founder

Jason Ropchan is the Founder and CEO of Your Tribute, an online resource for Funeral and Grief information and products. He has more than 15 years experience in the funeral industry developing and marketing funeral technology. He has worked with thousands of funeral homes worldwide to help them provide online memo...

  • Great overview of the topic. I’d love to see some analysis of biocremation vs. other types of death care processes. One of the biggest objections that I’ve heard is that it doesn’t preserve dignity as well as other methods, but when people actually learn about the embalming (or even traditional cremation) process that objection fades.

    • Thank you for the feedback and suggestion. We are looking into other topics related to green funerals and green cremation. Many of the eco-friendly alternatives are so new that there is limited consumer awareness or education on the products. I agree that as people learn more, their objection to these non-conventional methods fade.