When you begin researching environmentally-friendly funeral practices, you may be overwhelmed at first by the number of decisions that need to be made and the number of factors to consider. You can choose cremation, resomation, burial at sea, or "green burial," and each method has different characteristics to consider. But although each method has its pros and cons, the environmentally friendly aspects of each can be boiled down to just a few environmental concerns. Here are three important factors to consider closely when choosing a type of funeral.
Cremation pollutes the air. Resomation requires chemicals that may be manufactured in facilities that pollute the air. Embalming fluid pollutes the ground and sometimes the groundwater. So if you're concerned about pollution, you may want to consider a funeral arrangement other than traditional burial, cremation, or resomation. This leaves you with approximately three options if you live in the United States: sea burial, "natural burial," or simply finding a funeral home that will consent to eschew the embalming process in your case.
2. Natural resources
Although cremation has been considered an eco-friendly alternative over the past few years, it not only causes pollution but also uses a great deal of energy. This energy generally comes from fossil fuels, which is an unfortunate issue. If crematoriums would make the move to sustainable fuels, cremation would be a much more eco-friendly process, but as it is there are two strikes against it already. Other funeral practices that use up the Earth's resources include the traditional burial, which not only eats up land but also attempts to make the remains last as long as possible, putting that land out of commission indefinitely. It even puts other non-renewable resources (such as concrete grave liners and steel caskets) into the ground at a frightening rate.
3. Biodegradable materials
The non-renewable concrete and steel mentioned above are also designed to protect the remains from biodegradation. A natural burial, whose goal is to return the remains to the earth in a dignified and natural manner, uses biodegradable materials instead. This allows nature to take its course at its own speed, rather than vainly attempting to prevent disintegration and instead simply prolonging it.
Pollution, natural resources, and biodegradable materials are three of the biggest issues in today's funeral practices. By choosing a method of burial that handles these issues responsibly (such as sea burial or "natural burial"), you can ensure that your funeral doesn't harm the Earth. Talk to funeral homes such as Ryan-Parke Funeral Home for more information on your options.