Among the many benefits of cremation is the fact that it lets families say goodbye in an ecologically responsible way. Cremation is much greener when compared to burial, the latter of which requires costly embalming services, a casket, and burial plot. And diminishing land space for burials is a growing problem around the globe, specifically in major urban areas like Paris, Mumbai, Cairo, Mexico City, and New York City. Cremation, a simple process that lasts only a couple of hours, allows for a natural return to the earth.
Want to reduce your ecological footprint when you die? Here are the top green cremation options that allow you to pay it forward to future generations.
Direct Cremation – Direct cremation, which involves the body being taken directly to the cremation facility after death, is the simplest, greenest cremation plan that also saves families the most money. A traditional funeral or wake, where the body is viewed, often requires embalming chemicals, a casket, and other items that are costly to the environment as well as to your pocketbook. Skip the wake and go with a direct cremation.
Scattering Ashes – Scattering ashes at home, in a public place, or at a cemetery’s scattering garden is a great eco-friendly means of final disposition. Since 1997, the EPA has maintained that scattering cremated ashes is safe for the environment, provided that you are following both EPA and local regulations.
Burial at Sea – Much like scattering, burials at sea offer a natural return to the elements. The EPA requires that you scatter ashes at least three nautical miles from the shoreline. Neptune Society offers its own Memorial Reef, which has contributed to ecologically thriving sea life, for those seeking a beautiful underwater resting place.
Biodegradable Urns – For those who want to bury the ashes, biodegradable urns are a wonderful choice. They are often made from paper or other compostable materials. Another type of biodegradable urn is a planter with a seedling that grows into a tree, allowing you to recycle ashes into a beautiful living being that lasts for years to come.
Upcycling Cremated Remains – Many people choose to incorporate cremated remains into functional objects that serve as a memory of the deceased. They range from incorporating cremated remains into art, furniture, parts of houses or gardens, pencils, and other objects.
Alkaline Hydrolysis – Alkaline hydrolysis, also known as water-based cremation, is a new technology that was first used in Florida a few years ago. This process breaks down the body using an alkaline solution instead of the heat used in the standard cremation process. Still a new technology, this process isn’t available everywhere, but it’s expected to increase in popularity in the future.
As technology improves, green cremation options are expected to expand. With a bit of planning, Charlotte families will be able to arrange a cremation service that not only saves time and money, but also land space, energy, and precious materials. Plan your direct cremation with Neptune Society today and make the green choice.