Pictured: Clint, Nathan´s business partner, and his dog.
Hello. My name is Nathan Lea, I live in Edmonton Alberta Canada.
I am co-founder of Water to Sky Ltd, a company specialized in aquamation pet cremation, an eco-friendly alternative to flame-based cremation.
Nature has always played a big role in my life.
Living in northern Alberta we have access to so much nature. We are a short drive to the Rocky Mountains, beautiful lakes and thousand of acres of untouched wilderness.
I am also an outdoor enthusiast. I enjoy, snowboarding, mountain biking, camping, really anything to do with being out in nature!
Water to sky
My business partner Clint Caffyn and I started Water to Sky in June 2020 and have been growing our business since.
It was Clint´s wife Tiffany who originally told us about aquamation. When we heard about it, we thought it was a wonderful idea to be able to give a gentle and respectful farewell in an eco-positive way.
Is it a process that has many names: Alkaline hydrolysis being the official one, but it is frequently dubbed aquamation, water cremation, flameless cremation, resomation, biocremation or green cremation. Whichever way you call it, it is an eco-friendly alternative to cremation by heat.
Why we chose to offer aquamation only
Water To Sky is unique in the fact that we are the first and currently only aquamation facility in Alberta and we are very proud to be pioneering positive environmental change in our province. We choose to only provide aquamation because the fight against climate change is important for our future.
Alkaline hydrolysis, or aquamation as we commonly it, is the same process that occurs when a body is buried and is slowly returned to the earth over time. Using a combination of temperature, alkalinity, and gentle water flow we can accelerate this process. The remains that are returned to the family are the same as a traditional cremation, the difference being that we can do this with a 90% reduction in energy consumption, and zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The service we offer is for pets. We are pet owners ourselves. We understand by personal experience that a pet is an important part of a family and dealing with their loss can be very difficult. We are here and ready to help anyone who may live locally through this challenging time and give your beloved companion a peaceful and respectful farewell.
Working in the world of water cremation
What I enjoy most about what we do is that I am able to offer people solace during a very difficult time in their lives. I also enjoy the fact that while we are helping these people, we are able to help reduce the carbon footprint of the funeral industry.
Every job comes with it´s difficulties though. Our small team believes that pets are part of the family and one of the most difficult parts of my job is to see someone grieve the loss of a loved one. That part s always so difficult.
Aquamation of humans is only legal in a few provinces in Canada. Unfortunately our province of Alberta is not one of them, but the legislation is being reviewed and will hopefully change soon.
There are only a handful of aquamation facilities in the whole country and we are proud to be the first to bring it to Alberta.
Laws around dispersing animal ashes
As far as we know, there are no laws in Canada to prevent people from spreading animal ashes anywhere, but we encourage our customers to research it themselves. We also ask that when people do spread ashes to respect the people around them and the environment.
As for the rise of green cemeteries, there are a few that I know of, but I have not heard of any burial forest as of yet which we would love to see one day.
Canada is transitioning to a greener future and the funeral industry is no exception, more and more Canadians are becoming aware of the impact we have on the environment and are working towards a more eco-friendly future.
My advice to a family faced with the sudden loss of a pet
Take the time to grieve. A sudden loss of a pet can be overwhelming. Take some time to research the your after-care options and find what way gives you and your family the best closure.
Grief is a part of life and having personally experience loss in my own life, it is cathartic to be able to help people reach closure at a troubling time in their life.
What I love about the Bios Urn ®
I had heard about being able to use the ashes of a loved one and use it to grow a tree and I thought it was a beautiful idea. So, I went to google and started researching and found the Bios Urn ® to not only be a beautiful product, but it was an affordable option that we could make accessible to our clients.
I was over the moon when I received the biodegradable tree urns for the first time. It is a product that looks amazing and is very in keeping with our motto “cherishing the past while looking towards the future.”
The customers that have bought Bios Urns ® from us have loved the product and have mostly planted them on their own personal properties.
As for my own personal end-of-life plans
I personally love the idea of becoming a tree and having something that symbolizes my memory living on.
If I were to pick, I would like to be a pine tree it’s something that reminds me of all the good times I had camping with my family and friends.
A big thank you to Nathan from Water To Sky in Canada for sharing his unique story with us and his journey to where he is today. We are always very interested to hear the different stories of people who work in the funeral industry and who support the Bios Urn and a more sustainable funeral industry as a whole. We wish Nathan and the team the very best for the future
So what do you think of aquamation, the green cremation of the future? Have you ever hired a dog trainer for your pet?
We would love to hear from you in the Comments section below!
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Carolyn Turner says
I think this is a wonderful idea. I myself am going to be a Red Oak Tree in a
Bios Urn after UT Southwestern finishes with my body and cremates it.
Bios Urn says
What beautiful end of life plans Carolyn! Thank you for taking the time to share, we really appreciate it and love reading comments like these!
Maureen Hunt says
I love the whole concept of Bios Urns plus I’m fortunate to have an Aquamation company where I live in Australia which is going to be my choice of disposal when the time comes.
Bios Urn says
You are so lucky to have this as an option! We hope that some day in the not-too-distant future, this will be available to the majority of people. Thank you so much for taking the time to write!