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What is Green Cremation? December 8, 2019

A single tree in the middle of a grassy field

Many people already consider cremation a more environmentally-friendly alternative to a traditional burial. But many may not realize that they can go a step further in planning a green, or what is sometimes referred to as a bio-cremation.

In a traditional cremation, the body is placed in an incinerator chamber, where temperatures reach between 1400 and 1800 degrees for one and a half to three hours. The cremains are removed from the chamber and bone fragments are pulverized. These “ashes” are then placed into an urn chosen by the family or provided by the funeral home. The family, of course, can then decide to keep the ashes, bury or scatter them or use them in a variety of other ways to memorialize their loved one.

Green cremation involves the rapid oxidation of the body by using a water and alkali solution. Rather than an incinerator, the body is placed within a chamber where a 5% alkali and 95% water solution is added and the chamber pressurized. The temperature is then raised to just over 300 degrees. Like a traditional cremation, this reduces the remains to bone fragments within two to three hours. Once the body is reduced to bone fragments the sterilized solution is returned to the earth, and bone fragments are pulverized and placed in an urn. It is then left up to the family on what they want to do with the cremains.

This green cremation process places near-zero-emissions into the air and any dental mercury is recycled as opposed to being vaporized. Fossil fuel use is minimized and no casket is required. Any remaining bi-products are safe and contain no microbial contaminants. Embalming fluids are neutralized and even medical implants can be recycled. It is considered the most environmentally-friendly way to dispose of a body and it still allows for a family visitation prior to the cremation.

At The Cremation Society of Northern Kentucky, part of our mission is to help keep families in the region informed about the choices available to them when it comes to cremation. Should you have any questions about cremations or preplanning your final services, we encourage you to contact us.

Our professional staff can not only help inform you about the cremation process but can take you step by step through your choices. They can even assist you in pre-planning your final services. To begin the process, connect with The Cremation Society of Northern Kentucky.

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