The Rise of Cremation
Various forms of cremation have always been deeply imbedded within the foundation of our society since our humble beginnings. From funeral pyres to Norse funerals, cremation is both a primal and practical funeral ritual in the sense that it vaporizes and reduces us to our most basic compounds after death. Cremation doesn’t consume any more of our planet’s precious real estate and is infinitely more cost efficient than a traditional burial. Cremation has seen an immense growth in popularity over the past few years, and those are just some of the key reason for this trend.
Cost Efficiency of Cremation
Cost efficiency is one of the major reasons cremation has seen a rise in popularity. When compared to a traditional funeral—which can sit in the range of $3,000 to $7,000—cremations are found to be significantly cheaper. Crematory prices typically sit between $600 and $3,000, making them infinitely more affordable than a traditional casket funeral. This is easy on a family’s wallet while still affording them the ability to hold a traditional wake or funeral. Rental caskets generally cost around $100, making them affordable to people who may want to hold a traditional open casket wake. Loved ones are also still able to have a traditional burial with a cemetery burial plot. Even though a casket wouldn’t be buried—the urn with the deceased’s ashes would be buried instead—this still affords the ability to bury the deceased; although, the lack of a burial is another major draw for cremation.
Cremation: An Eco-Friendly Option
People are constantly dying and reproducing, eating more of the planetary real estate, which makes cremations lack of a burial an eco-friendly option. Cemeteries require a lot of space on our already dwindling planet, which makes cremation a great option for those who don’t want to leave too much of a footprint on the earth. Cremation reduces ones footprint in death by reducing the amount of materials that would normally be consumed for a traditional burial. Materials like the wood, metal, and fabric required to build a coffin, or a plot in the ground to be buried in. Cremation also breaks the body down into chemical compounds unlike embalming, which is used to stall the process of decomposition. While cremation does help protect the environment, it should be noted that natural resources are required for the crematory process, which burns the planet’s limited resources while also producing carbon dioxide. That being said, cremation is infinitely less harmful to the environment when compared to the long-term effects of a traditional burial.
Creative Expression With Cremation
Cremation also affords the deceased creative expression and agency in death since they can decide what they want to do with their own ashes. There are plenty of companies that can do amazing things with the ashes of the deceased, affording them the ability to symbolically express their lives, personality, and memories in death. For example, there are companies that can put ashes into jewelry, candles, fireworks, functioning vinyl records, and even tattoo ink. This allows the deceased to give a part of themselves to the ones they loved to be remembered and cherished.
Cremation is a fantastic alternative to a traditional burial since it affords a wide array of advantages, but it is also a decision that should not be taken lightly. Cremation may interfere with religious beliefs, causing strife amongst relatives and funeral goers if not thoroughly thought out. It can also be stressful for family members to decide on what to do with the deceased’s ashes if no prior plans were made. With those disadvantages aside, it’s easy to see why and how cremation has become such a popular choice during such a difficult time.
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