What is Green Cremation?

Green cremation, or bio cremation, as it is also known is an increasingly popular option for families in this day and age when everyone is feeling increased pressure to reduce their carbon footprints.  It only makes sense that this way of thinking would also translate into our end of life choices as well as our everyday lives.  Bio cremation or green cremation is presently a little bit more expensive than standard flame cremation that we are all familiar with, but it is the considerably more environmentally responsible option and faster. 

In the green cremation process the deceased is placed in a stainless steel container, water and an alkaline solution are pumped into the container at a ratio of 95% water and 5% alkaline.  Within 2-3 hours the body is reduced to bone fragments and a sterile liquid through the addition of heat and pressure.  For many this process is considered less traumatic than a flame/heat cremation. 

For the most part green cremation is a perfectly acceptable choice for any person who would otherwise be considering standard cremation for their remains or the remains of their deceased loved one.  This process can be used on a body whether it was or was not embalmed and made up for a viewing.  You can have a regular traditional funeral complete with viewing, and finish it up with a green cremation. 

After a green cremation you will receive the remains of your loved one in a container or urn just like you would following a traditional cremation.  If your loved one has a pacemaker or metal dental fillings or any other prostheses they will be left behind after the green cremation.  These items will be collected and the option will be given to the family to decide what to do with the items.  Any medical supplies can be recycled and the fillings or plates/pins can be properly disposed of by the cremation company. 

The same chemicals used during the process of green cremation are used in the development of many cosmetic, and home sanitation products, this means that during the entire process there is no odor until the very end when the liquid is recycled back to pure water.  For a short period of time during that process there might be a mild soapy smell.  The odor is so mild that it would not be detected outside the building or even outside the room itself.

The entire green cremation process uses 8 times less energy overall than a traditional cremation.  This drastic reduction in energy use makes the process one of the best and least environmentally damaging ways to process your remains after death.  Knowing now that there are better more efficient and faster ways to process your remains or those of your loved ones do you think that green cremation might be something you will consider in your future?