A new eco-friendly alternative to traditional burials and cremation processes is emerging: aquamation.
The process – known as aquamation, water cremation, or alkaline hydrolysis – is growing in popularity as it is considered to be a more sustainable method than other, more traditional practices. Currently, it has been legalized in about 20 states.
“I found that there’s so much potential for improving the end of life experience, both for humans … and for Mother Nature,” explains founder and CEO of Pisces, Christopher Taktak. “Alkaline hydrolysis, as far as I’m aware, is the most eco-friendly method of disposition. Basically, the environmental impact is none. It’s equalized. We don’t have a negative or positive impact on the environment. And for me, that is the best way to go: leaving the earth as untouched as when you came into it.”
Essentially, the deceased body is placed inside a stainless steel cylinder with a solution of 95 percent water and 5 percent alkali salts. About four hours later, the body will have been dissolved into bone ash which will later be placed inside an urn. Traditional cremations emit about 360,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually; water cremation is expected to be around 20 times less harmful. Taktak explains that aquamation is not only about making the death care process more sustainable but also about making it more “human-centered.”