4 Reasons to Consider Choosing Cremation Services Over Burial

4 Reasons to Consider Choosing Cremation Services Over Burial

Everyone on the planet must eventually decide the final resting place of their body unless they want their parents or guardians, caregivers, spouse, or others to make that decision for them. A traditional underground burial is the first option many people consider for themselves or a loved one.

Yet they shouldn’t rule out cremation. While making an informed decision about interment, it’s always wise to review all the options. This guide outlines the top four reasons to consider cremation.

1. Less Planning and Pressure

As with a traditional funeral, the director of a crematorium or funeral home/parlor that offers cremation handles most of the preliminary services. They typically collect the decedent via facility transportation, provide refrigeration, craft an obituary, contact newspapers, and take care of official documents and permits. Unless you want a physical viewing or an urn burial in a cemetery, you don’t have to worry about planning anything beyond the cremation. You don’t need to select special clothing, a permanent casket or vault, or schedule an appointment with a memorial mason.

2. Lower Funeral Costs 

When you need fewer services, you pay less for a funeral. For example, most people pay for embalming services because of a viewing or wake, especially when dealing with relatives traveling long distances. Without the associated costs of a casket funeral or the burial afterward, you only need to pay for the non-declinable basic, standard and specific custom services. Even if you choose to have a burial, you can expect to pay less for grave-digging services because an urn takes up less space in the ground than a vault.

Per a report released by the National Funeral Director’s Association in 2021, a cremation with non-declinable, preliminary, and custom services, including embalming, the use of a funeral facility for viewing, a funeral ceremony and burial costs $2,450 less than a casket funeral with all the same services and a vault ($6,970 versus $9,420). Although regional economies affect costs, cremation is always less expensive than a traditional funeral.

The estimates by the NFDA are based on the median costs. In some regions, a traditional funeral can cost more than $15,000.

3. Environmental Protection

Casket burials often lead to cemetery expansion. Some cemeteries don’t have enough space. These burials also generate more pollutants than cremations. Although embalming isn’t required with either type of funeral, people opt for it often with traditional burials.

As a result, roughly 4 million gallons of embalming fluid enter the ground every year. Each gallon contains chemical preservatives that can cause long-term environmental damage, including formaldehyde, which is a human carcinogen. Additionally, casket burials often involve plastics and sealants that break down over time and leach chemicals into the environment that can pollute soil and waterways.

If you forgo the embalming service, cremation only generates pollutants from the short-term burning of fossil fuels, the body, and a cremation casket or similar container.

4. Diverse Ceremony Options

Lastly, cremation gives you the ability to choose a funeral ceremony that best matches your personality or that of a deceased loved one. For example, if you want a wake instead of a graveside funeral, your family members or friends can carry your ashes to any location.

In the past, people commonly kept the ashes of a deceased family member in their homes. They can now keep a small amount of the ashes to embed in jewelry, a tattoo, or even a vinyl record and dispose of the rest in a respectful manner in the forest, ocean, or elsewhere. Some people even choose to shoot the ashes into the air or beyond via fireworks or a rocket.