While cremation is often proclaimed to be the eco-friendly alternative to in-ground burial, that doesn't mean the process can't be improved at all. In fact, there are several aspects of cremation that you can modify and customize to make your cremation even more eco-friendly. Here are four ways to affect your cremation's environmental impact for the better.
1. Opt out of the viewing
Crematoriums allow you to choose whether you'll have a viewing or a direct cremation, with which the remains are cremated first and the service is arranged later. If you choose to have a viewing, you'll want to have a solid and attractive wooden casket. However, if you opt for a direct cremation, the crematorium may allow you to select a more utilitarian but still dignified cardboard casket. These caskets are popular for natural burials and can be customized by decorating them yourself in advance. Although cardboard is made of wood pulp, it still has a lighter environmental impact than solid wood does. Other options for eco-friendly cremation caskets include bamboo and sustainably sourced wood.
2. Consider liquid cremation
Liquid cremation is a new alternative to cremation that uses a process more similar to natural decomposition. The process involves the use of chemicals, heat, and pressure to speed up the breakdown of remains so that decomposition takes only a few hours rather than several years. Fortunately, the remains end up being similar to the remains you get from cremation; the main difference is that there may be slightly more remains left from liquid cremation because it is a slightly gentler process, so the bones may not break down quite as much.
3. Opt out of the cemetery plots
One of the reasons why cremation is more eco-friendly than in-ground burial is because there's no need to bury the remains and take up real estate in a cemetery. Of course, many families choose to buy a burial plot for the remains anyway, but a cremation plot is still smaller than the plots used with a traditional burial. However, for maximum eco-friendliness, you'll want to find a greener alternative to a cemetery plot, such as scattering the ashes.
4. Find memorial options that support nature
You could choose a memorial alternative such as scattering the ashes in a meaningful location, or you could choose to do something that will have a beneficial effect even after you're gone. One way to do this is to choose a memorial reef. These man-made reefs are designed to help regrow the coral reefs off the coast of America and to help beleaguered species thrive there. The companies that offer this memorial option will mix your remains with the concrete so you can continue to support nature long after you're gone.
Try one or more of these options to help you make your cremation as eco-friendly as possible, and remember to spell out your wishes explicitly so your surviving family members will be sure to provide you with the funeral and memorial you envisioned.
Talk to funeral homes such as Catchen Don & Son Funeral Home for more information about cremation options.