There are a growing number of reasons to consider the way our actions impact the world around us. This can relate to nearly every aspect of our lives, from what foods we eat to what kind of cars we drive. You might not have considered it, but even a person’s final arrangements can have some kind of environmental impact. Whether you choose traditional burial or cremation services near College Park, MD for yourself or your loved one, there will be some kind of ecological footprint left behind. Here are some of the ways that each one might compare to the other when it comes to their environmental impacts.
First of all, let’s take a look at cremation services. The cremation process is not a perfectly clean process, although it does have a relatively minimal impact. The main issue is the creation of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which are released during cremation. Additionally, there may be more toxic substances released depending on if the person had anything like mercury dental amalgams, etc.
When it comes to traditional burial practices, it becomes a little bit more complicated. There are different factors that can result in a greater or lesser negative effect on the environment. For example, it’s very common for people to purchase embalming services, so that their loved one may have a viewing prior to their funeral. Embalming uses several different chemicals, some of which are toxic, like formaldehyde. After the burial, these substances are able to enter the soil and may harm the local ecosystems. There are some more eco-friendly embalming methods available, however, they are generally not as effective and don’t last for as long of a time.
Another issue with burial is that many caskets are made with materials that have been treated to delay their decaying and breaking down in the soil. Typically, these are valuable hardwoods that have been chemically treated to last longer. The chemicals used for these treatments are also detrimental and toxic to the soil, which is an issue that many people want to avoid. Fortunately, there are options out there for untreated wood caskets, as well as using other natural materials like a cloth shroud made of linen, cotton, or silk. This option also reduces the use of valuable resources like precious metals and hardwoods that may be put to use in other ways, rather than being buried in the ground.
As you can see, there’s not a straightforward answer when it comes to which is better for the environment. Cremation has its own issues, and burial has many as well. With burial, many of these problems can be addressed and avoided, which is a fortunate thing. However, when you look at a traditional burial and compare it to cremation services near College Park, MD, cremation is less impactful in many ways. If your loved one was passionate about the environment in life, you may want to try and plan their final arrangements in a more responsible way. You can do this by choosing cremation services, or by opting for more eco-friendly practices for their burial.