It has been an on-going debate: cremation vs. burial. Lately, cremation has been winning the battle as the more popular choice. The American cremation rate has been steadily on the rise for the past 30 years. The year of 2015 marked the first time the cremation rate was higher than the burial rate in the United States.
So, why cremation? Everyone has their own personal reasons for choosing cremation, but we have noticed 5 key benefits of cremation:
On average, cremation is generally 45-50% cheaper than burial. Cremation allows you to avoid the big purchases of items like a headstone and a casket.
Often times, when people choose a traditional funeral they choose to have their loved one buried as well. In contrast, cremation is more associated with memorial services and celebrations of life. A traditional funeral involves many more components such as a wake, gathering pallbearers, organizing a mass with a church, coordinating the burial with the cemetery, and much more. Memorial service and celebrations of life can be much simpler if you choose them to be. Since these ceremonies are more based on what you want and are less about common rituals, you can choose just how complicated and sophisticated the ceremonies are.
Cremation is considered to be more environmentally friendly than burial. Often the deceased is embalmed using harsh chemicals for a wake before he/she is buried. People have been critical that these chemicals can seep through a casket and create water and soil pollution. Secondly, burial plots take up land space and disturbs the Earth to inter a casket. Crematories do release carbon emissions into the air, but new technology is really starting to reduce the amount and impact.
With burial, you are either interred underground in a plot or above ground in a mausoleum. With cremation, you have several options in terms of what you can do with your loved one’s ashes. You can scatter your loved one’s ashes, store them in an urn, hold a small portion of it in memorial jewelry, blast them as apart of fireworks, mix them into the ink of a tattoo, and do some many other creative things with ashes.
Plots at cemeteries are becoming more and more scarce. The cemetery you wish to be buried may not have plots available when you pass. Also, since the supply of burial plots shrinks the cost of them has been on the rise. Cremation allows you to avoid the trouble of finding a plot.
Statista. (2016). Cremation rate in the United States from 1960 to 2035. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/251702/cremation-rate-in-the-united-states/