When a person dies, they think that they are done caring for Mother Nature but the truth that many do not know is that traditional burials is not good for the environment. Despite this, traditional burial along with cemeteries carry a very important role especially with regards to social aspect. Aside from burial, another method that has gained popularity is cremation, using cremation urns for adults and infants, which is also not good for the environment. Aside from the two formerly mentioned, another alternative is known as green burial which is promoted to be environment-friendly.
In the case of traditional burials, the footprint left on the environment is small but not insignificant because there are many steps included in the process such as embalming, making the coffin, creating the tombstone and making sure the grave site is well-manicured. Every year, around 800,000 tons ofembalming fluids containing formaldehyde are injected into the graveyard soil in the United States.
A cemetery with a land area of 10 acres has coffin wood that could have been used to construct 40 homes. Formaldehyde is suspected to be a cancer causing chemical which can seep into the ground. No further studies have been conducted regarding its effect yet.
Compared to traditional burial, cremation is the lesser evil. It burns natural gas because the heat has to be maintained between 750 and 800 degrees for a minimum of 45 minutes and a maximum of 90 minutes. During the process, greenhouse gases are released into the environment along with various chemicals inside the human body including furans, dioxins and mercury from dental fillings.
There are ways by which these effects can be reduced. If you choose traditional burial, request to skip embalming and choose a casket that is biodegradable. You can have a burial shroud that easily breaks down so the chemicals can be quickly adapted by nature. For those choosing cremation, choose cremation urns for adults that are non-toxic. You can help reduce carbon emission of your burning corpse by donating to a fund. There is an increasing demand for cremation nowadays because it is cheaper.