Home / News / Cremation Is Not an Eco-Friendly Way to Go: Consider Dissolving Yourself Instead

Cremation Is Not an Eco-Friendly Way to Go: Consider Dissolving Yourself Instead

Photo Credit: Syda Productions/Shutterstock

There are many ways to embark on the tour to the good beyond. One renouned tradition is the coffin burial. Or rather it was, until cemeteries began using out of belligerent space. And required burials that use poisonous embalming fluids are simply terrible for the environment.

Cremation has turn a common contender, but even this routine comes with its unsentimental problems. Enter a rather peculiar form of glass cremation famous as alkaline hydrolysis.

In Oct 2017, California became the 14th state to introduce legalizing this magnitude by a check set to take outcome around 2020. According to a San Francisco Chronicle report, the arise in this trend has to do with a flourishing bid to “green-ify” burial. Before getting into how alkaline hydrolysis is better for the environment, let’s have a brief outline of its some-more dark details.


The routine starts by fixation bodies in a vat containing an alkaline solution. The solution—described as a “brownish, romantic residue”—gets exhilarated to 300 degrees, which helps speed up the body’s healthy relapse process. After 4 hours, all that is left of the physique is a skeleton that is dejected into charcoal for families to separate or keep in an urn. The toxic-free leftover glass is also protected to dispose of in the sewers.

So because is dissolving bodies better than blazing them?

“Granted, you’re using water. However, you’re not using hoary fuel and you’re not putting a CO glimmer into the sky,” Matt Baskerville, an Illinois wake executive who uses alkaline hydrolysis, told the New York Post. “It’s really a cleaner and greener option than the normal fire cremation.”

One company that specializes in glass cremations claims it uses 90 percent reduction appetite than the flame-based method. An Atlantic essay adds to this point, observant how a “single cremation requires about two SUV tanks worth of fuel.” Then there’s the “million pounds of metal, timber and concrete” that is used to defense bodies buried in coffins.

While glass cremation avoids this waste, is it really the reason people are bearing it over some-more normal methods?

“Burning Grandma in fire seems to be violent,” Phil Olson, a truth highbrow at Virginia Tech, writes in the Atlantic. “In contrast, immature cremation is ‘putting Grandma in a comfortable bath.’” In other words, rather than the eco-friendliness of this wake method, it’s the notice of being peacefully put to rest that appeals to people.

Even the Archdiocese of San Francisco, speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, pronounced that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was deliberation either they would strictly validate glass cremation.

It’s up to any person how they select to physically partial from this world. Liquid cremation claims to be one of the slightest deleterious methods for the environment. Some competence contend simply being buried in a burlap pouch in a timberland is the way to go. Is one routine greener than another? Maybe the doubt should be: does it really matter? In the end, the impact you leave on the sourroundings after you die is distant reduction critical than the footprint you leave while you’re still alive.

Robin Scher is a freelance author from South Africa now formed in New York. He tweets intermittently @RobScherHimself.

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