After President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, liberals and scientists are looking for more ways to combat climate change. And for those who perish during the ensuing epic battle with climate change, there’s one final green act they can partake in: liquefy their remains.
In states like California and New York, lawmakers are considering legislation that would make it legal to have your lifeless body to go through an alternative burial process known as “water cremation,” rather than the typical fire cremation or being buried in a casket six feet deep.
“Cremation is really what people hold up as the environmentally friendly option,” Caitlin Doughty, a mortician in Los Angeles, told KQED Science. “It’s better than the whole rigmarole of formaldehyde and chemicals and big caskets that go into the more traditional funeral industry, but it still releases mercury into the air, and it uses a whole ton of natural gas.”
Doughty also noted that a casket burial is becoming a waste of land as the population continues to grow.
But what exactly does it mean to get your body “liquefied?”
Water cremation (or as it’s also known, bio-cremation or flameless cremation) leaves a smaller carbon footprint by dissolving human remains in a hot chemical bath that then leaves a sterile solution to be flushed down the drain. The carbon footprint of water cremation is a quarter of a traditional fire cremation and a sixth of a burial, which requires embalming chemicals, concrete headstones, and mahogany caskets.
This alternative burial process is currently legal in 14 states, including Oregon, Minnesota, Maryland, Maine, Kansas, Illinois, Florida, Colorado, Georgia, Wyoming, and Idaho.