Many environmentally conscious people favor cremation over burial, given that the latter approach involves putting a box that contains chemicals and holds a body embalmed in chemicals into the earth. While there are a number of environmental advantages to cremation, you can go the extra mile to further make your loved one's cremation even better for the environment. If you're taking care of a loved one's arrangements and you want to honor the person's commitment to the environment, here are some ways to make the cremation greener.
Buy A Biodegradable Urn
If you're going to be burying the person's cremated remains in an urn, make sure to shop for the right urn. Buying a wooden box finished with lacquer isn't the best choice for the environment, given that the lacquer will eventually break down and release its chemicals into the soil. Instead, look for a biodegradable urn. Many such urns are available through your local funeral home and are simplistic in their design. For example, you might find a simple urn made of durable cardboard that will break down quickly without releasing harmful chemicals into the soil. Displaying this urn at the person's funeral service will remind everyone of his or her commitment to the environment.
Consider Distributing The Remains
Another way to make the cremation process greener is to distribute the person's remains in a special area instead of bury them. This way, you won't have to put anything in the earth beyond the cremated remains, which will quickly break down. Talk with the person's immediate family to decide if distributing the remains might be appropriate. If so, you can come up with a special place in nature to have a small ceremony with the family. If you go this route and don't buy an urn, you may be able to rent one from the funeral home to display the remains during the funeral service.
Plant Some Trees
Cremation does create some pollution, as the process will release smoke into the air when your loved one is cremated. You'll feel better about cremation if you feel that you can offset some of the pollution by planting some trees. Planting trees improves the air quality of the area, so you can buy one or more small trees and plant them in a chosen area. This process also goes beyond making the cremation greener — you'll also end up with a memorial tree that you can visit regularly or return to on the anniversary of the person's death.
For more information, contact a cremation service like Delaware Valley Cremation Center.