Water Cremation: A conscious approach to pet afterlife

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

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Having a pet is one of the greatest pleasures in the world. Having a companion, a best friend, and a confidante who will not judge you for anything and will love you for who you are (as long as you treat them with kindness and respect!). However, one of the drawbacks is that most pets leave us sooner than we want them to, and as loving owners and pet parents, we want the best for them, even in the pet afterlife. 

Some options include backyard burials or traditional cremation, but recently, governments have begun to ban burials and concerns about the environmental impact of conventional flame cremation have arisen. 

Recently, a greener and gentler alternative has emerged: Water Cremation. 

The traditional flame creation of an average-sized dog emits about 45kgs of CO2. Water cremation is described as offering a gentler, greener alternative with minimal impact on the environment. 

The innovative method is also known as Alkaline Hydrolysis. It uses a gentle flow of 95 per cent water and 5 per cent alkali to mimic the natural decomposition process. 

Alkaline Hydrolysis reduces the body to its essential elements, leaving behind the calcium phosphate (bone), which is respectfully prepared and placed into an urn for the family’s keepsake.

Although patented in 1888, Water Cremation only became available to the Aftercare Industry in 2011. Since then, it had gained traction in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and South Africa, making headlines worldwide last year when South African Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu was cremated by water.

Traditional burial and flame cremation have long been the most common options for pet afterlife, but they have significant environmental drawbacks. 

Some of the benefits of water cremation include:

  • Using 90 per cent less energy than traditional cremation methods.
  • Avoiding the burning of fossil fuels.
  • Emitting no harmful greenhouse gases.
  • Preventing the release of chemicals from euthanised and buried animals.
  • Avoiding soil contamination from decomposition-related bacteria.
  • Producing clean, sterile, and pathogen-free remains that can be safely returned to the earth.
  • Yielding a sterile water solution that nourishes the soil and supports plant growth.

Blue Leaf Water Cremation, a family-owned and operated business based in Perth, Western Australia, is one of the few companies that offer pet parents a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional burial options.

“As we grow increasingly conscious of our pets’ Carbon Paw Print during their lifetime, it is vital to consider sustainable options for their pet afterlife as well,” said the company.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.

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