On December 26, 2021 archbishop Desmond Tutu passed away in Cape Town, South African. The anti-apartied and human rights advocate lived a humble yet amazing life in his 90 years, and his death was no different. Although the archbishop could have had the most elaborate of funerals, in the end he made a positive impression by choosing not to make a large impact.
An Activist for People and the Environment
Desmond Tutu, the 1984 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was a well-known figure throughout the world for his work to end racial injustice in South Africa, but that was only part of his life’s work. He also founded numerous foundations and was an outspoken environmentalist.
For many years Tutu was an advocate for clean energy and environmentalism. At the UN Climate Summit in 2014 he gave a moving speech about the extremely negative impact that climate change has on minorities and people who are most vulnerable. It was a call to action that made it known climate change is an issue that affects some more than others.
Shortly after the summit, Tutu began a petition that called on all countries to transition to renewable energy. This was the petition that stated climate change was “one of the greatest moral challenges of our time.”
One of Tutu’s Final Requests Was a Plain Pine Coffin and Water Cremation
Like many people, Desmond Tutu took the initiative to document what he wanted for his funeral and the disposition of his body, which was very simple. He wanted no extravagant spending on his funeral services. It was also important to archbishop Tutu that the funeral services have minimal impact on the environment.
Desmond Tutu had been in ill health for some time, and in recent years he made it known that when he died he wanted a plain pine coffin for the funeral services and aquamation afterward. Only 100 people attended the funeral service to stay within Covid guidelines for safety, but already there are many images of the beautifully minimal pine coffin from his state funeral on January 1, 2022 that are making an impression throughout the world.
His decision to choose aquamation, also known as water cremation, is also getting attention. For many people, it’s the first they have heard of the revolutionary service that uses water to cremate the body rather than flames. Although flame cremation has less of an environmental impact than traditional burial, water cremation is considered much more eco-friendly. The process uses 90% less energy than traditional flame cremation, produces no harmful pollutants and is extremely safe.
READ MORE: 5 Staggering Benefits of Water Cremation
It’s very fitting for a man that was called South Africa’s “national conscience” to use his death as a way to promote eco-friendly disposition. In doing so he brought awareness to the fact that traditional burial and cremation can have a very negative impact on the environment. Desmond Tutu was a man that led by example in his life and also in his death.
If you would like to know more about water cremation in Texas please contact our team by phone or email. We are happy to explain how the process works as well as the similarities and differences compared to traditional cremation.