From recycling and reducing plastic use to sustainable energy sources, people are trying everything they can to be green. Climate change and environmental consciousness are hot topics these days. But what about body disposition? Are cremation services in Clarksville, TN better for the environment than other disposition methods? If not, are there any options for a greener burial or cremation?
This basic cremation method does have a slight environmental impact as is requires the burning of fossil fuels to achieve the intense heat necessary to break down a body. However, it is better than traditional burial as it doesn’t involve embalming or other harsh pollutants being put into the ground. There are other greener cremation services available thanks to modern advancements and awareness. Green cremation services take a few more steps to make the entire process cleaner and eco-friendlier.
Green cremations, or natural cremations and eco-cremations, use no harmful or toxic chemicals to treat or embalm the body. This reduces the number of harmful gases released during the cremation. Another type of green cremation service is bio-cremation. Bio-cremation uses alkaline hydrolysis, or water resolution, to break down the body. The body is put inside a special chamber filled with potassium hydroxide, water, heat, and pressure for a few hours. Over time, the elemental combination breaks down the body into bone fragments just like traditional cremation services. The remains from bio-cremation can be scattered or buried just like traditional remains. Bio-cremation uses much less fossil fuel and energy and does not let off as much gas or emissions. As it’s still a fairly new method, bio-cremation is not readily available and may be more expensive.
There are also ways you personally can take steps to make cremation services greener. A few ways you can help out are:
- Choose to scatter the remains post-cremation. Buried remains use up ground space with caskets, and any chemicals leftover from the process could seep into the ground. Scattering takes up less space!
- Remove any dental fillings before the cremation. When dental amalgams are burned, they release a lot of harmful mercury gas into the air. By removing the amalgams before the cremation, you are helping prevent these emissions.
- If you do choose to bury the remains, do so in a natural urn or container that breaks down naturally. Choose a receptacle made out of handmade paper or Himalayan rock salt.
- Use eco-friendly cremation caskets. These are specially built to not release any harmful gases or chemicals when burned, over traditional caskets that are made with chemicals and products that do not burn well.
If you want more information on how you can be greener even in death or laws about cremations, contact Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory. We have years of experience in the cremation industry and would be happy to help you in any way we can, especially during a time of loss and grief. Feel free to call us or stop by anytime.