The Environmental Effects of Cremation Services vs Traditional Burial

funeral home near Chesterfield, VA
What to Consider When Preplanning
January 2, 2023
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January 12, 2023
cremation services near Chesterfield, VA

As we learn about the effects that we have on the planet, it becomes more and more important to put more considerate thought into our actions and lifestyles. For you, that could mean trying to use less plastic, making more of an effort to recycle, or even driving a car that runs on cleaner energy. You may not have considered it, but this can even reach as far as what we choose for our final arrangements. Whether you choose traditional burial or cremation services near Chesterfield, VA, there will be some kind of impact on the environment.

A traditional burial does have some negative aspects when it comes to how eco-friendly it is. Oftentimes, the embalming process is used so that a viewing can take place. This process involves the use of chemicals, some of which are toxic, like formaldehyde. Burial allows for these harmful materials to eventually enter the local ecosystem via the soil. Additionally, many caskets are made from materials that are treated to make them last as long as possible after burial. They are treated using chemicals that are also toxic and harmful to the soil. You can find untreated caskets and alternative embalming methods, which create a much more eco-friendly burial process.

Some other issues with traditional burial are the amount of land and resources that it requires. Cemeteries are running out of space across the country, and they continue to require more and more land. Additionally, caskets are often made from valuable hard woods and metals, all of which could be utilized in other ways rather than being buried beneath the soil. Traditional burial also uses concrete vaults for each burial site. These will lie indefinitely under the soil, and they hinder the breakdown process of the casket and bodily remains. There are some cemeteries that allow you to forgo the concrete vault, but it is not very common at this point.

Cremation does not have many of the same issues that traditional burial has, which many people see as a good thing. However, it does come with its own drawbacks. Because of how the cremation process works, there is a lot of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. This is known as a greenhouse gas, which has been shown to contribute to climate change. Depending on the person and what kind of dental amalgams, etc., that they have, there can also be other harmful gases released into the air during the cremation process.

As you can see, it can get a little complicated when you’re trying to figure out the environmental effects of traditional burial vs cremation. There are alternatives that allow you to make the process more eco-friendly, and there are ways to get around some of the more harmful aspects. Whether you choose traditional burial or cremation services near Chesterfield, VA, your funeral home can help you understand the different options you have. That way, you can make the most responsible decision that still works within your budget and family traditions and customs.

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