It’s more important than ever that we take the time to make choices which lessen our negative impacts on the environment. You may not know it, but this responsible decision-making can even reach as far as what we choose for our final arrangements and disposition. While there are many ways for an earth burial to have a minimal environmental effect, most traditional burials can create quite an impact on the earth. On the other hand, cremation services near Midlothian, VA, can be a much “greener” option than traditional burial, for several reasons.
Earth burial is not inherently harmful to the environment. In fact, it is one of the most natural methods of disposition, and has been around for most of human history. However, there are many practices today that are typically involved with burial that are not as eco-friendly. One example would be some of the toxic chemicals that are often used with traditional burial. Embalming uses substances that help to preserve the body of the person to be buried, but many of these chemicals, such as formaldehyde, are harmful to the environment. With burial, they are able to enter the earth and affect the soil. Additionally, many caskets are made with wood that is treated to stay preserved longer. The substances that are used to treat the wood are toxic, as well. With cremation, you don’t have to worry about any of these harmful substances entering the earth and affecting the local ecology.
Another issue that cremation does not have is the use of land. Many cemeteries are becoming overcrowded, requiring larger and larger swaths of land to accommodate more burials. There are also many valuable resources that may be buried, including hard woods and metals that go into the making of the caskets. It’s said that within one cemetery, there may be enough hard wood buried to build an entire neighborhood’s worth of houses. These resources will sit under the soil, slowly breaking down or never breaking down at all, in some cases. Even if a person’s ashes are buried, they require only a fraction of the space in the ground compared to a full-sized casket. Cremated remains can also be interred in a columbarium, which can hold hundreds of peoples’ remains in a relatively small area, conserving land even more effectively.
While all these things are true about cremation, it does not come without its own issues. The process of cremation actually releases harmful greenhouse gases into the air, like carbon dioxide, which have been shown to contribute to climate change. However, when the detrimental impacts of cremation and traditional burial are compared side by side, cremation is the greener option.
If you are making plans for your own final arrangements, or you’re making arrangements for a loved one who was passionate about the environment, you may want to consider cremation services near Midlothian, VA. They have much less of an impact on the environment, and result in an overall lower ecological footprint. You can feel at peace knowing that even in the days after your passing, you can still contribute to a healthier planet for future generations.