DENVER (KDVR) — Have you ever thought about what you want to happen to your body after you die?
There are many options, but one of the most popular in America is cremation.
Cremation was chosen by over 57% of Americans in 2021, and by 75% of Coloradans in 2020, according to the Cremation Association of North America.
The most common type of cremation is flame-based. However, there is a second option that uses water instead of fire.
What is water-based cremation?
The practice, known as alkaline hydrolysis, uses alkaline chemicals, heat, agitation and pressure to speed up the natural breakdown of remains, according to CANA.
Water-based cremation is seen as a gentler and more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cremation or burial.
It uses significantly less fuel and results in around 32% more remains than flame-based cremation, CANA said.
It was first developed and patented all the way back in 1888 but was first used in the funeral industry in 2011 by a funeral home in Ohio and by one in Florida.
Is water-based cremation legal?
Alkaline hydrolysis is legal in 28 states including Colorado.
It was legalized in the state in 2011, and according to CANA, there are at least two businesses in Colorado where it is performed.
In some of the states where the practice is illegal, there are pushes to change that.
Most recently, a bill was introduced in Texas that would legalize water-based cremation, according to FOX31’s sister station KXAN.
A few nearby states have legalized it, including Utah, Kansas and Wyoming. However, the latter two do not have any places where it can be performed.
For pets, on the other hand, alkaline hydrolysis is legal in all 50 states. According to CANA, the process has been adopted widely at pet crematories.