According to statistics, cremation is continuing to grow in its popularity. Since the 1960s, the number of individuals using cremation has increased annually. The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) said that cremation was the choice for approximately 39% of Americans in 2009. According to CANA, that number was supposed to increase to 46% by 2015 and approach 60% by 2025. Why does cremation continue to be a widespread choice made by Americans? One predominant reason is because it is more eco-friendly.
In 2000, the term "going green" was coined. Today, Americans continue to remain concerned about the environment and strive to take measures to protect it. In the twenty-first century, many people are choosing earth-friendly cremation products. Our research shows that,"Cremation is a gentle, eco-friendly alternative to casket burials. It is a quiet process that allows natural gas to reduce the body to its basic element of bone ash. Cremation reduces land use. It's common today for families to bury multiple people in cremation urns in a cemetery plot reducing land consumption. Cremation doesn't require lots of container materials like a casket."
Another reason why cremation is more environmentally friendly than burial is because a large amount of chemicals are used in embalming. According to reports by Casket and Funeral Association of America, Cremation Association of North America, Doric Inc., The Rainforest Action Network, and Mary Woodsen, Pre-Posthumous Society,
"Each year, 22,500 cemeteries across the United States bury approximately 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid which includes formaldehyde and other hazardous chemicals. Buried caskets contain 90,272 tons of steel, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze and 30-plus million board feet of hardwoods."
These reports go on to cite, "In addition, Casket manufacturers are listed on the EPA's top 50 hazardous waste generators list due to chemicals such as methyl and xylene used in the protective finish sprayed on the caskets exterior."
On a segment of a Fresh Air interview on NPR, Mark Harris, author of "Grave Matters: Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial" said that the amount of wood from coffins located in a ten-acre cemetery is enough to build 40 houses and that there is enough concrete to build swimming pools for all of them.
At the Cremation Society of Oklahoma, we perform natural cremation which does not require a casket to be used prior to cremation. Our company provides eco-friendly cremation urn choices, such as biodegradable urns designed to break down naturally and quickly when placed in water or into the ground. Cremation is a great option in keeping with your personal values. To learn more about why cremation could be a better option for you and your family, contact Cremation Society of Oklahoma at (918) 347-6793 today!