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Are Cremations Actually Greener? November 29, 2022

Large tree in the middle of a field

In the last several decades, cremations have grown in popularity to the point where they are the most chosen form of final service. In fact, about 6 out of 10 people (56%) choose cremation over a traditional burial. The reasons are compelling. 

Cremations have been generally embraced by the world’s major religions. They have become much more accessible. Cremations allow more flexibility and are less expensive. One of the reasons cremations are also so popular is that they are considered more environmentally responsible. Are cremations, however, actually greener than traditional burials?

It Requires Little or No Land

While a traditional burial involves a burial plot, that is not the case with a cremation. Cremains can be scattered or kept by the family in an urn.

No Embalming Chemicals are Necessary

With a cremation, no potentially harmful embalming chemicals are used, keeping them out of the environment. Cremation incinerates the remains.

Cremations are Less Wasteful

Cremations use fewer resources and are less wasteful. There is no casket or burial vault to be purchased. A headstone may not be needed. These items not only use resources to create, but must be transported from the manufacturer to the funeral home or cemetery. In comparison, urns use few resources and are even available in biodegradable versions.

Not every aspect of cremation is greener than traditional burials. The cremation process is often fire-based and can release chemicals into the air. There is a water-based cremation process that is slowly growing in popularity that eliminates fire-based issues.

There are additional steps that those who want greener finals can take. Travel can be limited and requests to avoid sending flowers can be made. Any social activities associated with the funeral can minimize the use of non-recyclable cups and plates. Environmental causes can be listed for memorial contributions. Families who are planet-conscious can continue their support for the planet even through the grieving process.

If you are interested in preplanning your final services or are in current need, we invite you to contact us. We welcome your questions and would be honored to assist you.

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