Interest in cremation is clearly growing given that the national cremation rate has gone from 6% in 1975 to 56.1% in 2020. When you break it down state-by-state the cremation rate in Texas generally falls around the middle of the pack. The Texas cremation rate increased from 17% in 2001 to 38% in 2013 according to Slate’s research. Of course, there are also regional differences within the state. A study from Texas State University found that the cremation rate in Travis County was already 32% in 2003. By 2010 it had reached 40%.
Given all of those statistics it’s actually not surprising that today more Texans are branching out beyond traditional burial and even traditional cremation. They want more options than just incineration and decomposition. They also want dissolving to be an option.
Texas Families Are Finding Ways to Choose Aquamation
There’s already been a notable increase in people who are interested in alternative forms of disposition for some time. For some people it’s a matter of cost, and for others it’s about the environment. For those who care about both, there’s alkaline hydrolysis, also known as aquamation or water creation.
When prominent human rights leader Desmond Tutu chose alkaline hydrolysis over traditional burial and cremation he did so because it was the simplest form of disposition with the lowest impact all around. His choice brought international attention to water cremation, and got even more people interested in the idea of dissolving rather than incinerating their remains.
What Tutu did was bring awareness to alkaline hydrolysis, which has been one of the biggest hurdles for getting the process legalized in more states – including Texas. Although the technology has been around for decades, few people have been aware of its existence and how it works. Once they learn that the aquamation process provides the same result as traditional cremation minus the greenhouse gas emissions many people are on board with having it as an end of life option. It’s also considered to be gentler than incineration, which some people prefer .
This is how much interest there is in alkaline hydrolysis in Texas. Every day Texas families are finding a way to choose water cremation without it being legal.
One of the benefits of cremation is that, unlike burial, the process doesn’t have to take place where the deceased lived. As Green Cremation Texas owner Eric Naus shared in a recent interview, his funeral home has arranged water cremations for a couple hundred Texas families in recent years. He does so by working in partnership with a crematorium in St. Louis, Missouri.
The growing interest in alkaline hydrolysis is part of a larger movement that is dramatically impacting the funeral industry. In the last decade it’s become clear that fewer people want traditional funerals. Instead they want personalized services that aren’t overly expensive and environmentally harmful. We’re entering a period where burial is less desirable but the memorial is still important to a lot of people. The memorial just might happen after the deceased has been cremated and their cremains are present. And hopefully soon more people can choose if the cremation happens by fire or water.
Another factor is that more people are inclined to do advanced funeral planning today. From Baby Boomers to Millennials in their 30s, more Americans are deciding what type of funeral services they want long before their death. That means they are researching their options. As alkaline hydrolysis becomes more common and legal in more states it’s guaranteed to draw more interest in Texas and around the rest of the country.
If you would like to know more about alkaline hydrolysis and how to arrange water cremation services in Texas please give us a call, text or email. We work directly with families to make the process as stress-free as possible whether you’re making advanced arrangements for yourself or planning services after a loved one’s death. We’re here for you when you need us.