We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Nelson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
Working in death care, legacy is something I think about often. I’ve lost many loved ones over the years and that helps me appreciate my mortality and the limited time I have here on earth. I hope to be remembered as someone who wasn’t afraid to challenge the way things are done and take risks to make our planet better. One of my teachers, Susanne Conrad of Lightyear Leadership, says “You’re already someone’s ancestor.” and that helps me keep my legacy in focus when things get tough.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Be a Tree Cremation is an environmentally-friendly cremation alternative with final resting places rooted in nature. Instead of using fire, we use warm water and a bit of alkali to gently mimic the natural decomposition process over the course of a few hours. Water cremation (also known as alkaline hydrolysis) uses 90% less energy than flame cremation with about 1/10th of the carbon footprint. The process has been likened to a final spa treatment. Families still get ashes returned in an urn, which contains the processed bones that remain, similar to those of a flame cremation. This is compared to flame cremation, which emits over 500 pounds of CO2 with each process, the equivalent of driving over 600 miles in a standard passenger vehicle. The liquid byproduct of water cremation is a nontoxic solution of amino acids, peptides, sugars, and soap, which makes a wonderful fertilizer. Families may keep some of this to use on trees and flowers in their garden. The remaining fertilizer is used at Half Moon Farm, a local floral farm in Lakewood. Families may choose to plant a cremation memorial tree or scatter the ashes at a meaningful outdoor location. We’ll be opening our doors before the end of 2020.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
During COVID times, the itinerary would include a lot of outdoor activities. We’d snowshoe at Silver Dollar Lake, take a soak in one of many gorgeous natural hot springs in Colorado, and probably have a few drinks. I love the sour beer from Crooked Stave and the locally-produced wine at Infinite Monkey Theorem. Finally, we’d have to check out a historic hotel like The Brown Palace or the Stanley Hotel.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I owe a great deal of my success to my family. My dad who always tells me like it is. My birth mother who is no longer with us but has a beautiful soul. My mom who raised me to believe in myself always. Grandmothers who taught me to be tough and kind.
Rebecca Slaughter Audra Zaba