Cremation is the no. 1 choice for end-of-life services in the state of California. Not only is cremation more affordable than a traditional funeral, it also provides a greener alternative to burial. Cremation offers a variety of options for the final disposition of cremated remains, making it a flexible and convenient choice for families.
Eco-friendly Cremations vs. Burials
Burials involve caskets, burial plots, and headstones — among other things — can drive up the cost of an individual funeral to thousands of dollars. Traditional graves also require massive amounts of land, and caskets and headstones are often made of non-sustainable materials like wood and granite. Cremation offers an option that greatly reduces your environmental impact. Caskets are not required for cremation — only simple cremation containers. Scattering cremated remains or storing them in an urn ensures that land is not disturbed. Returning the remains to a garden or Memorial Reef is another sustainable option.
How to Plan a Green Cremation
Opt for direct cremation. A direct cremation, during which the body of the deceased is taken straight to the cremation facility without a funeral service, is eco-friendly and lowers your total cost. Not holding a wake or viewing service means the body does not need to be stored and prepared for the service, and you do not need to purchase a casket.
Choose a biodegradable or upcycled urn. There are a variety of cremation urns on the market, from the simple to the highly customizable. Nowadays, many people are searching for biodegradable urns to use in their homes, gardens, or outdoor fountains. Some of these urns are planters for trees or garden flowers, allowing you to use cremated remains to grow new life. Other urns let you “upcycle” cremated remains into a functional object, like a birdhouse or jewelry, which lasts for many years.
Scatter the remains or have a burial at sea. Scattering cremated remains is a popular, eco-friendly choice for many families. Some families opt to scatter their loved one’s remains in a public or private place that has special meaning for the deceased. Others choose a burial at sea in the Memorial Reef or other EPA-approved locations. If you opt for a burial at sea, remember to follow EPA guidelines about where and how to dispose of the ashes.
Cremation is a dignified way to bid farewell to your loved one while respecting the environment. Ask your cremation provider which options are available to make your cremation service an eco-conscious one.