According to Rev. Desmond Tutu, Anglican archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the peril of climate change is one of the “greatest moral challenges of our time.”
That’s why Rev. Tutu left instructions requesting a water cremation instead of flame cremation after his death on Dec. 26, 2021, drawing attention to this emerging green alternative.
While water cremation – known as Aquamation – is not available to humans in Michigan at this time, it is now available for your loyal companion animal, thanks to Heaven at Home Pet Hospice and Aftercare Center.
“Aquamation is part of a growing green burial movement that avoids non-biodegradable materials and promotes natural decomposition. It has no emissions, it’s greener, it’s a clean technology to work with,” said Dr. Laurie Brush, Founder of Heaven at Home Pet Hospice and Heaven at Home’s Aftercare Center.
Mirroring trends in the human funeral industry, cremation has become the most common method of body disposal for pets. The problem is, a single cremation can emit as much carbon dioxide as a 1,000-mile car trip.
Dr. Brush has worked closely with BioResponse Solutions, the company that manufactures Aquamation equipment for funeral homes and crematories throughout North America. The company says its process has 1/10th of the carbon footprint compared with flame creation.
Dr. Brush describes the process as more like natural decomposition than any other method of disposition, using gentle water flow, temperature and alkalinity to accelerate the ecosystem’s natural method of breaking down and decomposing organic matter. A process that would naturally take months or years is reduced to a day. During that time, a combination of 95% warm water and 5% alkali gently flows over the body.
At the end of the Aquamation process, your companion’s physical components have been returned to their natural elements, dispersed in water – with only the solid bone remaining, pathogen and disease-free. Viruses and chemicals such as chemotherapy drugs are broken down into basic nutrient elements, rendering them non-toxic. The mineral bone ash is returned in an urn to those who request take-home remains. The water byproduct is not only benign but also beneficial. Returned to the environment, effluent may be used as a natural, chemical-free fertilizer.
“It’s an eco-friendly and gentle way to return your companion to Mother earth,” Dr. Brush said.