Colorado Probate Blog - Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, P.C.

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Going Green in Life and in Death

In 2011, Colorado passed legislation permitting chemical methods to decompose a decedent’s remains. Holistic funeral homes are cropping up in Colorado. These funeral parlors offer an environmentally friendly process called alkaline hydrolysis.

This process chemically reduces the decedent’s body into a human compost consisting of DNA-free liquid essentially comprised of salts, sugars, amino acids that can be used as fertilizer in a garden. Instead of releasing carbon dioxide and mercury into the air by conventional cremation or taking up real estate, this process, using environmentally friendly chemicals, accelerates the decomposition of the body. Within 2 hours the body is fully decomposed using heat, water and hydrolysis.

With society worrying about global warming and contamination of our planet, the Cremation Association of North America predicts that this method of chemical cremation will become a larger share of the $20 billion dollar end-of-life industry. The cost of going green at death is $2,500, which is only slightly higher than the traditional flame cremation and much cheaper than a traditional burial.

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