Dawna Agosto, Dawna's mother, died from bladder cancer in April 2021. She says, "She was strong and put up an amazing fight." Agosto says, "I knew she wanted to be cremated. Some of her remains would be spread with my father’s remains."
Agosto opted for aquamation, an environmentally-friendly water cremation. To decompose the body, it uses warm water combined with an alkali solution.
Phil Barrick, president of White Rose Aqua cremation in Escondido (California), says that "it does not emit any emissions into the atmosphere." This company is the first to offer water cremation in California. According to him, water cremation consumes 90% less energy than flame-cremation.
"At the conclusion of this process, you still have bones. Barrick states that the bones are then processed in a machine that turns them into a fine powder.
Aquamation is one way to have an environmentally-friendly burial. Some people wish to make their bodies compostable and give back to the Earth. Seth Viddal is the manager at The Natural Funeral in Lafayette Colorado.
The three states that allow body composting are Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. A chrysalis-composting vessel was created by The Natural Funeral Home. It turns remains into soil.
"We place wood chips, straw, alfalfa and straw inside the vessel. Then we make a microbial broth of both bacterias and fungal agents. Viddal states that the body and other organic booking agents are transformed into beautiful, rich, living soil over the course four to six months.
The soil can then be given to the family, or donated to approved farms. Viddal states that most clients want to leave a lasting legacy to the Earth. This is a way to preserve the environment.
Aquamation is legal in at most 20 states.