Understanding and respecting individual end-of-life wishes are at the heart of what Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory provides. As a leading provider of cremation services in Bellevue, WA, we strive to offer a range of options that honor those wishes in the most dignified manner. One such option is Aquamation – a greener, gentler alternative to traditional cremation. Aquamation aligns with growing environmental awareness among individuals who wish to reduce their ecological footprint, even in death. This innovative process represents our commitment to adapt and evolve in our services, ensuring we meet the changing needs and preferences of the families we serve.
Aquamation: What It Is and Why It’s Eco-Friendly
Aquamation, also known as Alkaline Hydrolysis or water cremation, is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cremation. It uses a solution of water and potassium hydroxide to expedite the natural decomposition process that would occur over time in the earth. This is a far more energy-efficient method, using only one-eighth of the energy that traditional cremation requires. It also eliminates the release of harmful emissions into the atmosphere – a concern often associated with standard cremation. The result of the process is a safe sterile solution that can be returned to the water table, and remains (bones), which, like in cremation, can be returned to the family.
The Aquamation Process: A Step-by-Step Guide
In the aquamation process, the body is placed in a stainless steel vessel. Then water, heated to a high temperature, along with potassium hydroxide, a base substance, is added to the chamber. The process takes a few hours, during which the body is gently broken down to its basic molecular components. At the end of the process, what is left are bone fragments – similar to the ashes produced in a fire cremation. These are then processed into a form that can be returned to the family. The only byproduct is a sterile liquid that is safe and unrecognizable and can safely reenter the water system, completing a natural cycle.
Preparing for an Aquamation: Ensuring a Smooth Process
Preparing for an aquamation requires steps similar to traditional burial or cremation. Most importantly, discussing the wishes of the deceased, if known, or deciding as a family on this form of disposition is the first step. Ensuring all legal paperwork and requirements are fulfilled is paramount – death certificates, aquamation permits, and arranging for the final disposition of the remains. This could involve retaining the remains in an urn, scattering them, or using them in memorial art or jewelry. While aquamation is a different process, it allows for a similar remembrance and memorial service that one can have with a traditional cremation or burial, allowing for a personalized farewell.
As our awareness about our environmental impact grows, innovations like aquamation offer a sustainable alternative to traditional practices. For those specifically seeking eco-conscious cremation services in Bellevue, WA, Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory proudly offers the option of Aquamation. Our commitment to preserving the planet aligns with our mission of respecting every end-of-life wish. We provide a comprehensive, compassionate service, ensuring a seamless experience in honoring your loved one in the most respectful and conscious manner. If you’re considering Aquamation or wish to know more about this process, reach out to us. We’re here to provide the information, support, and comfort you need during such times. After all, making end-of-life decisions needn’t be a choice between dignity and sustainability—you can have both.