3 Funeral Options And Any Effects They Have On The Environment


When you die, you have several different options to prepare your body for the funeral. Each of these options has benefits, but they also have good or bad effects on the environment. Here are three options you can consider when making any funeral decisions for the future, and any impact they may have on the environment.

1. Ground Burial

A ground burial will provide your remaining family a place to visit and remember you, but this option has some downfalls as well. By choosing a ground burial, you are going to be taking up a coffin-sized plot of land that cannot be used for anything else. Available land is in a limited supply and won't be increasing in the future. Also, if your grave is far away from your loved ones, they are going to pollute the environment more by driving to and from your grave each time they want to visit it.

When your body is embalmed for burial, the embalming fluids that are put into your body can potentially leach into the soil and nearby water. Embalming fluids are formaldehyde-based and are recognized as a carcinogen by the EPA and can cause adverse health effects over long periods of exposure.

Chemicals used in some types of veneered wood products used to make coffins can also contain formaldehyde. After burial, they can get into the soil as they break down, causing harm to the environment.

2. Cremation

Nationwide body cremation increased in popularity from 25% in 1999 to 39% in 2009. As these services reduce your body to ashes, they make it possible for your remains to be spread or sprinkled nearly anywhere. 

A cremation service takes approximately two to three hours of 1100 degrees F heat, which disintegrates most of your body. The bones are calcified in the heat, then flake and crumble into a coarse ash. The ashes remaining after your cremation only weight from 3 to 9 pounds. This eliminates the need for a plot of land to bury your remains and coffin, preserving the limited resource of land. Cremation also does not use earth's natural resources of wood or metal to make a coffin, only the small urn to hold the ashes. 

3. Resomation

Resomation is a new "green" cremation-type process which dissolves your body and does not harm the environment. During resomation, your body would be placed into a steel chamber with a mixture of water and potassium hydroxide. For three hours the fluid is heated to 356 degrees F and the pressure is increased to 145 pounds per square inch until only your bones remain. Then, the bones get crushed up and your family can keep your remains in an urn or scatter them somewhere.

Unfortunately, the resomation process is only approved for use in Florida, Maine, and Oregon by the Cremation Association of North America. But, your body can be transported to one of these states for resomation.

These are three types of funeral preparations and any effects they have on the environment. To learn more, visit Suess Bernard Funeral Home Inc. 


27 March 2015

Have You Planned for Your Future?

When my father passed away a year ago, my mother didn't have any problems with the funeral or burial. My father planned his funeral in advance. He didn't want to burden my mom with any problems during her time of grieving. That hit me. I realized that I didn't have any plans for my own future, which would make it even harder on my wife and kids. So, I contacted a funeral home online and requested information about burial services. The funeral home provided me with many options that I could afford to pay over time or upfront. My wife also helped select burial plots for us because we didn't want to be separated — even after death. I encourage you to read through my blog. It offers great tips and advice on how to plan for your own future. Don't wait. You never know what life holds for you.