Many factors are considered when making a funeral plan: religion, culture, budget, and individuality are paramount. Over the last decades, environmental responsibilities are increasingly factored in. Before finalizing a funeral plan, it is useful to consider the environmental effects of a Denver funeral and burial or a Denver cremation.
Primary environmental considerations with a Denver funeral and burial are
- Embalming. Harsh chemicals used for embalming leach into the ground following burial.
- Resources. Wood or metal for a casket, financial resources, and the energy to maintain a building are all factors with a Denver funeral. Burial requires additional resources including a burial vault and liner.
- Cemetery Property Maintenance. Cemeteries must be maintained in perpetuity. Our environment is affected by necessary energy use to maintain the property as well as chemicals used to promote healthy fauna.
- Eternal Land Use. Limited land resources are forever obligated with burial.
When direct cremation, a Denver cremation without a funeral, is chosen, these environmental effects are eliminated. There are, however, other environmental considerations with cremation. Some energy must be used for the cremation process. Additionally, the environment is negatively affected by emissions, notably from mercury emissions.
Consequently, crematories take steps to actively minimize emissions. Mercury accumulates in the body and is present in dental amalgam. When these are burned during cremation, mercury, a heavy metal, is released into the atmosphere. Mercury emissions are toxic and persistent. Abatement techniques are used at crematoria to minimize emissions of mercury as well as dust and dioxins. Absorbent reagents and filters capture hazardous emissions. Taken on balance, cremation is a green alternative to burial that minimizes both environmental effects and one’s final footprint.
Denver cremations aren’t right for everyone simply because they are more green. There are other reasons cremation makes sense for many people. Even those that choose a funeral and burial can minimize their final footprint with conscientious planning.