It’s not a pleasant thing to consider, however, we all have to decide what happens to our remains when we kick the bucket. Currently, there are two major methods that people opt for; burial or cremation. However, there is now a growing movement that advocates for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative.
According to Caitlin Doughty, who owns and operates a nonprofit funeral home in California, the “cross-contamination of bodies is inevitable” in cremation. She adds, “We’re sending our families into these intimidating industrial warehouses with behemoth fire machines belching natural gas.” As for burials, it’s estimated that millions of litres of embalming fluid, which contain toxic chemicals that leach into the soil, are buried with dead bodies every year.
Not to mention, an article published by the BBC reported that the world is running out of burial space. All of this mayhem has promoted scientists and researchers to investigate other ways that we can better approach this issue. Enter: the Resonator machine. This innovative machine dissolves bodies through a process called alkaline hydrolysis.
Though this technique is similar to that of cremation, it is a more ethical option given that it produces fewer pollutants and carbon dioxide. According to Wired Magazine, “The system uses a water and alkali based method at high temperature and pressure to chemically reduce the body to white ash. After drying and processing of the white bones, the pure white sterile ash is returned to the relatives just as with flame cremation.”
Sandy Sullivan, the founder of Resomation Ltd., says, “it’s good for society, it’s good for the environment.” If this has piqued your interest at all, alkaline hydrolysis is currently legal in several U.S. states and Canadian provinces as well as in the U.K.
Another one of its many benefits? The process is estimated to cost approximately $45, which, if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to deal with a loved one’s death, is pocket change in comparison to the alternatives.
Understandably, many people will be uncomfortable with the idea of dissolving. However, this could be the way of tomorrow and it is certainly one step closer to saving the planet.
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