Understanding Green Cremation

What is Green Cremation?

Also known as ‘bio-cremation’, ‘Aqua-Cremation’, or resomation, green cremation is a gentle, environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional cremations and casket burials. It is a quiet process that uses water and potassium hydroxide to reduce the deceased’s body to its basic element of bone ash.

What is the Difference Between Bio-Cremation and Traditional Cremation?

Traditional Cremation

Traditional Cremation is the rapid oxidation of the deceased through the application of intense heat and flame reducing the remains to bone fragments (not ashes) within a few hours.
  • Cremations are done individually
  • If the deceased had a pacemaker, the pacemaker will be removed by the funeral director prior to the transfer to the crematorium
  • Cremations begins once the cremation container is placed within the cremation chamber
  • Subjected to intense heat of 1400°F-1800°F
  • All substances are consumed except bone fragments (calcium compounds) and any non-combustible materials, such as jewelry, dental gold, prosthetics, etc. (the temperature is not high enough to consume them)
  • The duration of a standard cremation is 1 ½ Hours to 3 Hours
  • Following a cooling period, the cremated remains are then swept or raked from the cremation chamber
  • Once the bone fragments have been separated they will be further processed to reduce the size of the bone fragments to uniform particles (cremated remains, also known as ashes)
  • The cremated remains are then placed in an urn selected by the family or into a temporary urn issued by the crematorium.


Bio-Cremation is the rapid oxidation of the deceased through the application of water and alkali solution, reducing the remains to bone fragments within a few hours.
  • The deceased is placed into a pressurized stainless steel cremation chamber
  • Water (95%) and alkali (5%) are added and the temperature is raised to 302°F
  • Water, alkali, heat, and pressure are gently circulated over the body, working together to cause a reaction that begins and completes the cremation process
  • Body is reduced to bone fragments and a sterile solution is recycled to the earth
  • The cremated remains are then placed in an urn selected by the family or into a temporary urn.

The End Result of Bio-Cremation

Whether a family chooses burial, flame-based cremation or bio-cremation, the end result is the same – the body will be reduced to bone ash. The only difference is the time is takes for the process to take place and the stimulus that supports the transition.
Disposition Stimulant Time
Burial Soil and microorganisms 25 Years
Flame-Based Cremation Flame created by CH4 Natural Gas or C3H8 Propane Gas 2-3 Hours
Bio-Cremation Water (95%) and Potassium Hydroxide (KOH)/Alkali (5%) 2-3 Hours

Environmentally-Friendly Benefits of Bio-Cremation

  • Most environmentally-friendly option
  • Nearly zero air emissions admitted into the atmosphere during the process
  • Mercury from dental amalgam is contained and recycled, not vaporized
  • NO casket required which protects natural resources and produces less Co2
  • Reduces use of fossil fuels and minimizes greenhouse gases
  • ⅛ energy usage versus traditional flame cremation
  • By-product is safe with no harmful chemical or microbial contamination
  • Preserves approximately 20% more bone fragments than traditional flame cremation
  • Embalming fluid is neutralized and cytotoxic drugs are destroyed in the process
  • Pacemakers do not need to be surgically removed prior to green cremation
  • Medical implants are unaffected and can be recycled

A Natural Life Cycle

The sterile by-product made up of peptides, sugars, amino acids, and soap is sent through municipal water treatment where it is filtered, purified, and recycled back to earth through aquifer, lakes, streams. In essence, the body is recycled without harm to the environment. With green cremation, loved ones are returned to the earth through a cycle of life, helping to promote new life as nature intended.

Can a Family still Plan a Funeral with Bio-Cremation?

A family can still plan a visitation and funeral with their loved one present prior to the green cremation taking place. A family may also alternatively choose to have a memorial service to honour the life of their loved one with the urn present once the bio-cremation takes place. Learn more about our Service Options