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

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

Jessica, thank you very much for all your advice and patience and, most of all, for guiding us through this difficult time. All Cremation arrangements at Riverside Chapel were well planned . You are very kind and thank you very much. Also, thank you to everyone else at Basic Funerals and Riverside Cremation for your help.read more
sandy SAGAR
03:59 21 Aug 19
The meeting was very informative and casual. All our questions were answered in a professional manner. We did not feel pressured in any way. We are very happy with the arrangements.read more
Lina Elliot
22:51 15 Aug 19
Helpful, didn't try to push any thing on us.Very affordable.
marg lahey
02:18 08 Aug 19
My experience with Basic Funerals was excellent. My first contact was with Robin. She was easy to talk with and was very quick at returning emails, and phone calls. The pre planning process went smoothly as did the final arrangements. We went with the Basic package, cremation no service. Mailings arrived quickly. The information provided before and after was valuable and the cost of the package was considerably less than arrangements through other funeral homes. I feel comfortable in recommending this company to others in need of this service.read more
Ken Fryer
12:11 07 Aug 19
Allarrangements were handled professionalism and kindness. Jessica was lovely to deal with. The process was very efficient and the cost was reasonable, no or sure was at any time put on you to spend more than your decided you wanted which is not the case in most situations with funeral homes. I will pre arrange for myself and my husband's in the very near future.read more
Debbie Mastin
00:31 07 Aug 19
Robin was very helpful and patient with me on things I didn't understand. I appreciate that very much. Thank you, I have recommended Basic Funerals.
Verda Matthew
17:49 18 Jul 19
Very understanding and absolutely no attempt to sell us anything than we asked for. Professional and very kind.
Viv
10:42 16 Jul 19
Jessica B was very friendly and helpful
Aaron Hachie
17:22 03 Jul 19
Everyone was so helpful in dealing with my brother John's funeral.
Judy Costantini
22:57 13 May 19
During a difficult and emotional time the services we received were exactly what we wanted. There was no attempt at "up-selling" nor was there any sense that we were being guilted into making unaffordable or complex choices. Rather, we received careful attention and very professional responsiveness to our needs. I would absolutely recommend this service for anyone struggling with all of the many other details and emotional distress that follow the passing of a loved one.read more
Debra Macphail
17:18 06 Mar 19
Karoline was the front-line Funeral Director who looked after my wife's final needs. Although I was, at first skeptical, Karoline soon put my mind at ease and she created the type of service that Shelley desired and in a special location that I requested.Throughout the entire process, Karoline offered support and in the event we needed clarification, Karoline did not hesitate. She proved herself to be a valuable asset. to Classic Funerals but also to the family they served.read more
D.C. Mahoney
08:46 31 Jan 19
Robin was awesome to deal with and answered all of my questions. I only wished I know of basic funerals when I was pre arranging my mother's. I was told all sorts of lies by a funeral home.read more
joann guenette
20:04 06 Sep 18
Robin was very professional, knowledgeable, organized and helpful. Great customer service! Thank you.
Louise Viersen
20:40 20 Aug 18
We decided that we wanted to make our pre-planned funeral arrangements and had the pleasure of speaking to Robin. She sat down with us, and clearly outlined all of our options. She reviewed earlier cemetery arrangements with regard to our family plot and what we still required. We are both pleased and relieved that everything is in order and that the Executor of our estate will only have to call one number..read more
Soosy Q
19:29 24 Jul 18
Excellent customer service! Excellent prices! Convenient payment plans. Could not ask for more!
Jaden Winfree
20:08 21 Jun 18
I prearranged my own funeral all on line including payment etc..no muss no fuss....a great experience
John O'Hearn
19:38 24 Apr 18
Robin was very helpful!!! I feel very happy knowing my arrangements are done as per my wishes. This will be so helpful to my family when my time comes to depart this earth!read more
Sandra Stubbs
12:49 09 Apr 18
I contacted Basic Funerals & Cremation to pre-arrange services for my mother. I initially reached out for an appointment by email and received a very prompt reply. I set up the appointment via an email exchange and met with Robin at Basic F&C the following week. It was a very straightforward process and Robin went to great lengths to to explain and simplify the various options. I highly recommend Basic F&C for the ease of contact, arrangement and follow-up.read more
Rick Pringle
17:09 28 Mar 18
Very happy with their professional service. Quick to respond with any questions or concerns. Would highly recommend this company to anyone needing their service .read more
Gail Adamson
20:34 07 Feb 18
Convenient and respectful. This is the second time my family has used Basic Funerals and Cremations Choices. The first was 5 years ago when my father passed away and this time was for my brother. I didn't deal with Basic with my father's arrangements but my step-mother did and recommended them and honestly, I don't think I'd use anyone else moving forward. When we had word on my brother's terminal illness, I called 3 places to get quotes on the cremation he wanted. Let me preface this by saying that my brother said a Celebration of Life was acceptable but he didn't want a viewing or funeral so a cremation is what I was researching.Since this was my first time arranging such services, I had no idea what to expect. The first place (a local funeral home) quoted me $4000, so now I had a starting point. The second place (a local cremation facility) quoted me $1000 (wth? talk about a price difference!) but then stated I had to involve a separate "funeral home of my choice" for transfer services (huh?) and lastly I called Basic.Unlike the other two places I had called, Basic Funerals and Cremation Choices took the time to explain everything to me and offered to email me a quotation that contained all of the details. They offered me various packages to choose from depending on my needs and told me there was no pressure to decide now-I could decide when the time came. The three packages were Budget, Basic and Priority (I chose Priority and would recommend it for the slight price difference). They also confirmed that there would be no additional charges beyond what I was quoted (and there wasn't!).Unfortunately, it was a very short time after this call when their service was needed. I made the call to Basic and they took care of everything. They were incredibly professional the whole way through. From the initial phone call, to the follow-up call when my brother passed, to the young gentleman that came to deliver my brother's ashes and even follow-up calls, these people are top-notch.Basic Funerals and Cremations Choices took the worry out of making the arrangements. I have started recommending their service to friends and family and told my husband this is what I him to do want when my time comes.I'd like to end my review with a sincere thank you to Basic Funerals and Cremation Choices.read more
Connie P.
14:15 05 Feb 18
I was in need of immediate service and Basic Funerals were very helpful and right there tending to my request. The staff were very helpful and attentive to our needs. I would definitely recommend this service for anyone, thank you.read more
Don Mascarin
01:51 12 Jan 18
Our family lost a member who lived in Ontario while most of us are in Newfoundland. This could have caused a lot of confusion and extra expense that we did not need at this difficult time. Basic Funerals was amazing to deal with. Fast, clear, informative, inexpensive, and respectful of our wishes. We got the cremains in plenty of time for the funeral, as well as everything else we expected. I HIGHLY recommend Basic Funerals for anyone during this difficult time.read more
Communication was exemplary...clear, quick response times, helpful. I also appreciated the professional yet senstitive approach each person I spoke with had during our difficult time. One thing I very much appreciated was NO attempt to upsell whatsoever. Any tiny suggestion to get more money I would have not used their services and they never once did...very impressed by that.I was helped by David, Natasha and Kamilah and I was very happy with their customer service...I would highly recommend Basic Funerals.read more
Evangelina Coleman
19:47 12 Nov 17
My Mom had a prearranged plan with Basic Funerals at my recommendation. I found them on the internet and my Mom prearranged everything back in 2011. When my Mom passed we contacted Robin who was her Prearrangement Specialist and was extremely helpful from start to finish. I highly recommend Basic Funerals. Thank you so much Robin and staff for all your help at this difficult time!!!read more
Sandy J-Lee
18:13 12 Nov 17
Very helpful. Compassionate.
Nadine Kyle
13:59 12 Oct 17
Representatives on the phone and in person were so courteous, efficient and straight forward. It was a very difficult time for my elderly parents, and they made it so much easier and in ways enjoyable. Thank you Robin ans Stephanie for such professionalism ! The price is very affordable, no frills and up-selling. Highly recommended.read more
Dragana Skokovic-Sunjic
02:02 11 Oct 17
Prompt response. They understand and listened to your needs. Robin was extremely professionnal, caring and understood what I wanted in regards of my dad's pre-arrangements. It feels good to be understood. Robin was great and went above and beyond to provide me with a great service and no surprise in regards of the pricing.GREAT PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE.I would recommend highly BASIC FUNERALS.read more
Johanne Coshall
15:20 09 Oct 17
Basic Funeral and Cremation Choices was the right choice for my mother's cremation. I contacted Jessica a few days before the time and she provided a quotation after a few minutes on the phone. The quotation was exactly what we were looking for. The price was reasonable. Jessica was on site for the cremation and everything went as planned. I would highly recommend Jessica and her firm.read more
Ravi Aggarwal
16:13 05 Oct 17
Jessica, was wonderful She took her time walking my family through our options. The detailed information she provided was priceless. Guiding us through a very difficult time. This was the second time using her services. I'd definitely use Basic Funerals and Cremations again. Also considering prearrangement of my own aftercare services. Offering my family peace of mind that my wishes were already thought out and paid for!Louise Kruegerread more
Louise Munro
02:36 05 Oct 17
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