How Technology Is Creating Alternative Cremation Options

Monday, September 11, 2023

Approximately 56% of Americans are cremated upon death. It's rising in popularity, and adding the possibilities of technology provides even more options. 

If you're planning for the future you may have heard of some burial alternatives that vary from traditional cremation.

What is alternative cremation, and why should you consider it? Find out as we dig deeper into how technology provides different burial services. 

Alkaline Hydrolysis

The green funeral market is worth more than $571 million and is expected to grow in the coming years. 

Some people seeking an eco-friendly funeral look into alkaline hydrolysis, which uses less energy and resources than traditional cremation. 

The process involves water, heat, and potassium hydroxide to transform the body into bone and liquid. It takes around three to four hours, and the remains are ground into powder and returned to the family. 

Although this is a fairly new technology, it may have a drastic impact on traditional cremation in the future, providing people with more options. 

Terramation (Human Composting)

Terramation involves using plant matter to assist with natural decomposition and turn a body into soil. People who want more eco-friendly burial alternatives might consider this route. 

Bodies are placed in a vessel and monitored, but the technology that runs the process takes very little energy. It uses even less energy than alkaline hydrolysis. 

After the process, the soil is screened for inorganic materials and then returned to the family. It currently takes between 60-90 days to complete.

This type of eco-friendly burial is still new and is only legal in a few states, but it may spread as awareness grows.

Tree Urns

Another option is biodegradable urns filled with a sapling or seeds that are placed within cremated remains. After death, the deceased can give back to the earth by growing a tree in their name. 

Families can choose a tree type and bury it somewhere where they can honor and remember the deceased. This type of green memorial has less impact on the environment than traditional burial options. 

The benefit of this technology is that the material will biodegrade faster than caskets and also provide a beautiful memorial tree. 

How Technology Brings People Together

If you're not ready for an alternative cremation and you'd rather opt for the traditional route, you still have many options. Technology helps to bring people together so the entire family can remember the deceased regardless of distance. 

For instance, if you're planning a scattering ashes ceremony, you could live stream the event. This allows people to attend the ceremony even if they can't be there in person. 

Another option is online tribute platforms that allow people to share photos, memories, and messages with one another. The wonderful thing about a memorial website is that it's easily accessible and anyone can look back on it when they wish to. 

Is Alternative Cremation Right for You?

Alternative cremation options are still new, but technology is certainly giving families more options. It's likely that even more burial and cremation options will appear in the next few years. 

Planning for the future doesn't have to be a stressful experience. We can help you plan your funeral service so it's everything you envision. Schedule a pre-arrangement consultation today.

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