Death is a fact of life.  At some point, we all think about what we would like to see happen to our remains.  Growing up on the East Coast, everything was very formal, very traditional, very proper.  There was a funeral and an internment, especially if you were religious.

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When I moved out here funerals and coffins became celebrations of life and photo montages.  Completely different approach on the West Coast.  The following preferences of Washingtonians however, is a really different approach to sending ourselves on a journey after life ends.

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Insurance Agency Choice Mutual just released their 2024 Survey of alternative burial preferences and you'll be intrigued, taken aback, stunned, maybe even perplexed by Washington State's top methods.  All of the following are more environmentally friendly than a traditional burial.

7. Aquamation

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Aquamation, or Alkaline Hydrolysis, was the 7th most popular on the list. Also known as water cremation, water and lye are used to break down the body. It's more eco-friendly than traditional cremation since it uses less energy and releases fewer emissions.  The remains are turned into a powder that is returned to the family.  There is no tissue and no DNA left after the process completes.

6. Space Burial

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Number 6 on the list is pretty self explanatory.  Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was one of the first to have his remains sent in to space.

5. Memorial Reef

The video above shows more about the Memorial Reef than I could do justice.  It involves creating artificial coral reefs using remains mixed into an environmentally safe cement. These reefs provide habitats for marine life and help restore endangered coral ecosystems.

4. Mushroom Suit

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This one is...well...different.   This involves a biodegradable burial suit or shroud embedded with mushroom spores. The mushrooms decompose the body and neutralize toxins that are released during decomposition.  Makes me rethink one of my favorite steak toppings.

3. Human Composting

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The body get placed in a special vessel with different types of organic materials. Over several weeks, the body decomposes naturally, turning into nutrient-rich soil.  This method is gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional burials and cremations around the U.S.

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2. Green Burial

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Washington's second most popular option is Green Burials. This skips embalming  and uses biodegradable caskets or shrouds along with biodegradable material like wood chips and straw. The aim is to allow the body to decompose naturally and return to the earth without harming the environment.

1. Tree Pod Burial

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The top choice for the Evergreen State, appropriately enough, is tree pod burials.   The body is placed in a biodegradable pod that is then buried in the ground. A tree is planted above the pod, and as the body decomposes, it nourishes the tree.  The idea is the tree is a living memorial that can exist for decades, maybe even centuries.

If you would like to see more on Washington State's preferences, as well as other States, click here for the full results.

Washington Residents Are Abandoning Seattle for These 15 Appealing Cities

We used the United Census Bureau's latest "Metro Area-to-Metro Area Migration" data set 2016-2020 to rank this list and cross referenced it with our data sources.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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