We in the Unites States have about 6 different options when it comes to human disposition. Some of the more traditional choices of disposition include Burial and Cremation. Some of lesser known choices of human disposition include; Terramation (Human Composting), Alkaline Hydrolysis (Water Cremation), burial at sea and donation to science.
The question becomes; Does your choice of end of life disposition matter? The answer is Yes and No. Your choice of disposition may be predetermined by your community, your family, you traditions or your religion. The reality is, how you choose for your remains to be disposed of in entirely up to you. In this instance, Yes human disposition does matter. Unless you want someone to make this choice for you when you die, you need to make your choice of disposition known to your family and survivors.
On the other hand, your remains will eventually reduce to their most elemental form no matter what your choice of disposition is. In this instance your choice of disposition does not matter. I am often asked, What method of disposition is the fastest in reducing remains to their most elemental form? That is tough to answer but let's give it a try.
Cremation takes about 3-4 hours to reduce remains to "ashes"
Alkaline Hydrolysis (Water Cremation)
Alkaline Hydrolysis takes about 4-5 hours to reduce remains to "ashes"
Terramation (Human Compostion)
Terramation is about a 60 day process to reduce remains to soil
Burial at sea
Burial at sea varies greatly. Depends on if the remains are embalmed, in a container, and at what location the remains are placed at. (depth of water & Amount of sea creature living in that part of the sea)
Donation to science
Donation to science is a process that can take about 2-3 years before the remains are typically cremated. Side Note, If you choose to donate your remains, be very cautious you know what you are signing up for. Not all donation facilities are what they claim they are.
Burying remains in a grave can reduce the remains very quickly or take thousands of years to reduce the remains to their most elemental form. Factors included in the time needed to reduce the remains include; are they embalmed, are they in a casket/vault, the average air temperature around the grave, the pH of the soil, the depth of the grave, etc...
So, Does human disposition matter? Well that is a question only you can answer. What matter most to you in considering disposition may not matter to the next person. I also hear many disposition question about why the price varies so much or which method of disposition is more environmentally friendly. We will address these question in future blogs.
Thank you for reading. We hope you will come back for more information.