In 2020, an estimated 55.8% of American funerals will involve cremation. From its near-taboo 3.6% in 1960, the practice has gained popularity for a variety of reasons, from bringing simplicity to funeral arrangements to lowering their costs. Cremation’s newfound popularity owes to more than just simplicity, though. Cremations can lower the amount of emotional stress a bereaved family undergoes, fits less traditional families, and even reduces the impact funerals have on the environment.
What Does Cremation Have to Do with the Environment?
Think about the materials used in a classic funeral service. First off, the body is typically embalmed so it can be presented in its casket. Common ingredients in embalming fluid include formaldehyde, methanol, and glutaraldehyde — all of which are buried in the earth after a traditional funeral. Though it takes a while for materials such as concrete and metal to decompose, when they do, the earth is exposed to a significant amount of embalming fluid. Caskets and burials’ material consumption is not sustainable: every year, 30 million board feet of lumber are used to create coffins (a mature pine tree might yield around 754 board feet.) The concrete used in one year to create burial vault could build a highway from San Francisco to Poland.
Another Factor: Cost and Convenience
Funeral arrangements are rarely cheap — the more elaborate and specific they are, the higher the bill runs. Cremation makes for a much more affordable funeral. Standard funerals cost $6,500, on average, while a cremation might only run you around a third of that. Of course, not needing to preserve and bury a body adds a huge convenience factor for the whole family — especially those farther away. The family won’t have to rush to gather somewhere specific. Their loved one’s remains aren’t going anywhere — this takes a lot of stress out of making funeral arrangements.
Cremation and Pre-Arrangement
Many Americans choose cremation for themselves to give their families an easier-to-prepare and more affordable funeral. Pre-planned funerals help your family focus on healthy grieving rather than the added stress of making funeral arrangements. Cremation makes it easy as it can be.
Though they might not be necessary for years, making advance funeral arrangements can help you rest easy today. With cremation, there’s at least a bright side: it’ll save your family money on the funeral and conserve a valuable bit of natural resources.
Morris Funeral Home is committed to helping Wayne, WV, get through the hardest parts of life. From funeral planning to helping families through grief, Morris Funeral Home is ready to help 24/7. Get the support your family needs by calling them at (304) 272-5171 today or visiting their website.