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A Greener Way To Go: Water Cremations Could Be A Way Of The Future

Green cremations that use hydrogen potassium hydroxide to dissolve remains are set to be approved in Scotland.

The Scottish Government is looking into passing regulations what would allow the process to be used in the country. Which means it would become the first part of the UK to approve water cremations.

The cremations are currently available in some US and Canadian states and parts of the Netherlands, Australia (who knew?), Mexico and South Africa, but currently illegal in the UK.

The process is called 'aquamation' and it has heaps of benefits. It emits fewer greenhouse gases than traditional cremation, is cheaper to build and said to cut the amount of harmful carbon dioxide by up to 90 per cent. Plus, it has a cool name.

Warning, the next few lines contain graphic details of the green but gruesome practice.

Aquamation involves heating the body in potassium hydroxide and water for up to 90 minutes, leaving only the bones. They are then rinsed in the solution at 120C (248F), dried and pulverised into ashes.

Then, just like a regular creamation, the remains are given to the family to keep, scatter, or accidentally misplace.

The waste water is disposed of into the sewage system or used to fertilise plants. This is perhaps the most contentious part of the process as Water UK, said the public may find the idea of human remains going into the water system ‘distasteful’.

But who knows, it may be the thing that finally gets those tomato plants thriving.

Water cremations have become more popular after Archbishop Desmond Tutu chose the eco-friendly process for his remains following his death last year.

William Purves, Scotland’s largest independent funeral home, believes many people would choose the alternative over a traditional cremation if they were given the choice.

There’s so many tough choices to make in life, so luckily deciding how to die is getting easier (and greener).