Q: What are the environmental implications of funeral planning?

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- Ramona Sousa


Certainly, when considering the environment in funeral planning, there is – I think – some tradeoffs for people. Um, certainly cremation is very popular. However with cremation there are some significant environmental impacts. From the, the burning of fossil fuels to the generation of heat in our atmosphere.

Quite a bit of Natural Gas is used in cremation, um, so that’s not very environmentally friendly. And we, we are as humans, we are full of, of quite a bit of toxins now with our, with our behaviours now and the way we live – heavy metals and toxins – so that all gets released to the atmosphere. Whereas burial, just like any other living being and living organism on earth, burial you are allowed to break down. So as long as you are not in a very, um, commercial, heavy duty casket, if it’s more of a natural wood casket, you and that, again, natural wood are going to break down.

Some people, uh, maybe don’t make that connection perhaps, but, you know, given some thought and some thoughtfulness, I think some people would really consider the benefits of burial. The earth does naturally what cremation does mechanically.

In both cases, the whole process is that your body is reverted to bones. Be it that you’ve been buried and it takes place over 10-20 years; if you are cremated, it takes place over 2.5-3 hours. Even if families who’ve chosen cremation then wish to scatter, we have biodegradable containers if they are doing it in a certain place or manner that would be appropriate. So we try as hard as we can to address that.