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Alternative Burial Options: Direct vs Liquid Cremation

The National Funeral Directors Association says that half of Americans who die this year will be cremated, and in 20 years almost 80% will choose to be cremated. 

This growing shift towards cremation is a result of rising funeral costs as well as the option to create memorial and keepsake art from the ashes of loved ones. However, you might not know that there are a few alternative burial options. 

Cremation is usually associated with fire, but aquamation is also an option. Aquamation is liquid cremation. 

If you’ve ever wondered about the differences between direct and liquid cremation, read on. We’ll be discussing these two creating services and their benefits.

 

 

Cremating Benefits

One of the main benefits of cremation is the cost. Burial is very expensive, between paying for a headstone, a plot, and a coffin. Cremation is much cheaper. 

Furthermore, cremation is already a more environmentally friendly option than burial. Burial uses harsh chemicals to embalm the remains. Between aquamation and direct cremation, aquamation is the greenest option for future planning.

A cremation service is also a simpler process for funeral planning. It can therefore be simpler and more organic to plan, allowing the family space and time to grieve. 

You can read more here for some common cremation info

What Is Aquamation? 

Aquamation is a nickname for alkaline hydrolysis. It’s a water-based method of cremation. 

It combines gentle water flow and warm, even temperature to accelerate the breakdown of the body. Essentially, it accelerates the natural process of what happens when a body rests in the ground. 

The process takes about a day at about 150-300 degrees, depending on the equipment used. In contrast, a flame cremation takes about four hours at a temperature of 1600-1800 degrees. 

The body is first placed in a stainless steel vessel with alkali, a basic ionic salt of an alkaline earth metal. Then water fills the vessel. Then heat warms the alkaline water solution that gently flows around the vessel. 

After the process, the material has been broken up into building blocks in a form similar to ashes. Following aquamation, the family can store the remains in an urn or other commemorative piece. 

One of the biggest benefits of aquamation as compared to direct cremation is that liquid cremation has no emissions and burns no fossil fuels. The process is entirely natural and entirely green. In fact, aquamation uses less water than an average household uses in a day. 

Aquamation vs Cremation

Aquamation equipment can be expensive, so sometimes aquamation is more expensive than cremation. However, the cost is not that different and both are cheaper than standard burial. 

One of the cost contributors to cremation is that the body must first be placed in a combustible container, which must be purchased before the cremation process. In aquamation, the body requires no receptacle. However, loved ones can cover the body with a shroud if they’d like.

The remains look a little different after aquamation than cremation. After cremation, the remains are gray sand with a coarse texture. After aquamation, the remains are a white, fine powder. 

 

 

 

 

 

Consider Alternative Burial Options

When planning for your future, it can be uncomfortable to think about what happens after you’re gone. But knowing that your remains will be well cared for according to your wishes can provide peace of mind.

With that in mind, consider alternative burial options for your preference, and do whatever feels right to you. 

If you valued what you learned in this article, you’re sure to like our other posts, so check out our blog for more.

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