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cremation services in Monroeville, PA

Burial, Cremation Services and the Environment

The two most common choices for body disposition are burial and cremation services in Edgewood, PA, but which one is good or bad for the environment? Both offer many pros and cons, so it can be hard for people to choose which one they want.

Is cremation bad for the environment?

Cremation services are not bad for the environment than a traditional burial. However, if you are committed to helping the environment in body disposition, a few small tweaks to a common Monroeville, PA cremation service can go a long way.

Why cremation is bad for the environment?

A cremation service won’t be as environmentally damaging as a full-service burial, popular cremations in most crematorium retorts require the burning of natural gas, and therefore the discharge of greenhouse gases, as well as the vaporization of different chemicals.


is cremation bad for the environment

One way to make the choice easier is to think about each one’s effect on the environment. A lot of people never even think about burials’ or cremation’s environmental impact, but that should have a part in your decision.

Many materials go into a burial

To begin traditional, full-service burials have a considerable negative impact on the environment. One of the biggest ones is the loss of habitat. A recent statistic from the Centre for National Burial states that 10 acres of cemetery hold almost 20,000 tons of vault concrete, 1000 tons of casket steel, and enough wood to build over 40 full-sized homes. All that material leaves little room for animal and plant life. Not to mention the loss of land that could otherwise be used to grow food or build homes.

Environmental Impact of Death make use of Cremation Services

On the other hand, cremation can be a much greener choice, depending on how you go about it as there are still some downsides to cremation in terms of the environment. Standard crematoriums burn a lot of natural gas and therefore release lots of greenhouse gases and chemical vapors that can harm the atmosphere.

Not to mention that to fully dehydrate a human body to bone and ash, a crematorium has to be fully heated to at least 1400 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain the heat for a minimum of 45 minutes. This process releases a lot of carbon dioxide and uses up a lot of fossil fuel. But, new technology and more fuel-efficient crematorium centers have greatly reduced these negative impacts.

However, there are ways you can make cremation even greener, like:

  • Remove and recycle all medical materials. Remove and recycle medical devices and parts, like pacemakers, before cremation. Burning said parts can release harmful gases and produce non-biodegradable ash.
  • Get a green cremation container. Cremation providers generally require bodies to be in a rigid, consumable, and leak-proof casket for the cremation process. Burning these caskets can give off noxious gases and fumes if you chose a bad one. When picking out your cremation casket, look for one made of non-toxic and renewable material.
  • Get a biodegradable urn. Many people chose to bury their loved one’s ashes after cremation. While urns and ashes take up less space than a full-size grave, urns slow down the decay process and may negatively impact the surrounding earth. Choose a biodegradable urn to better protect the local ground.

cremation services in Monroeville, PA

Cremation services are much better for the environment than burials, even without the above small changes. If you want to learn more, you can reach out to Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. by visiting us or giving us a call. We’d love to help you in any way we can.