There are a number of reasons for choosing a nontraditional cremation service in LaGrange, IL, not the least of which are the environmental benefits. With rapidly expanding populations across the globe issues such as land availability, ground stability and protection of subsurface water sources have become important topics as we strive to protect our planet for future generations.
In the not too distant past burial caskets were generally made exclusively of wood; the most common were simple and plentiful softwood pine although people of means sometimes used more expensive hardwoods such as mahogany and oak. Old wooden caskets left relatively little environmental waste as they naturally disintegrated into the surrounding soil over the course of time.
Today’s modern caskets are cast from a wide variety of materials, many of which leave behind toxic elements that contaminate the land as well as groundwater sources. Materials include precious metals such as bronze, copper and even gold as well as common steel, and often include increasingly rare woods like cherry and walnut. Interior features include cotton padding lined in satin, silk, velvet and other fine fabrics. Burial vaults are concrete containers designed to keep the casket dry and from sinking into the ground and also adds to the contamination over time.
Human bodies are a source of pollutants in the form of unremoved pacemakers, dental fillings, metal, plastic and silicone implants, and various toxins naturally present in the body. Personal items like buttons, belts and mementos also add to the list of contaminants. Every one of these materials are responsible for some level of negative environmental impact.
A recent development has been the introduction of biodegradable caskets and urns. These important symbolic objects are made from sustainable sources woven together in wicker weave fashion designed to degrade with minimal environmental impact. With today’s environmental protection concerns wicker caskets are becoming a popular option for those who are ecologically minded.
Modern caskets vary widely in price starting around $500 for a simple pine box to upwards of $50,000 for a top of the line model. In fact, out of all of the expenses involved in a traditional funeral service the casket is often the most expensive item.
Choosing cremation over a traditional burial service can dramatically reduce the costs associated with honoring a deceased loved one as well as having far less of an environmental impact, but the cremation process is not without its own environmental disadvantages.
In the past few years cremations have surpassed traditional burials in the United States. As a result pollutants associated with cremation are on the rise. Levels of pollution vary by individual. Larger bodies take longer to cremate and therefore emit more pollutants; the incineration of the above-mentioned bodily implants also demonstrate a significant impact primarily in the form of dioxin, a toxic chemical compound known to reduce reproduction rates and induce immune system collapse.
The environmental benefits far outweigh the negatives when you consider a nontraditional cremation service. Today more than ever people are choosing cremation as a respectful, reasonable and responsible way to remember and honor our loved ones.