Cremation or Burial – Which One is The Better Option?
When one of your loved ones passed away you might be thinking of buying a burial plot or what to put on a headstone. Although there is something which is one of the choices you have to make for yourself before you die or you have to make for someone who just passed away in your family. When making the choice of cremation or burial there are many things to consider such as the environment and costs involved. We have created this guide for you to explore this topic so you can make the best decision for yourself or your loved one.
Cremation is the method of the final disposition of the human body which uses high heat flames. This process is done in a special compartment called a ‘cremation chamber.’ While often people think that cremation is the least popular method of laying someone to rest, however, cremation has become the most popular choice as 74% of funerals were cremation in 2020. This number could be influenced by the pandemic that was booming in the last two years, however, this has changed people’s behavior and this number is expected to grow even further.
Burial is the traditional way to lay someone to rest by placing the body in a coffin and then into the ground or crypt. Burial has been around since ancient times with some changes in the practices the modern era has brought. Embalming is one of them which means treating the body with chemicals that would make the decomposition process slower. This is also beneficial to lay the body in a more presentable way for the family. Although being a more family-friendly and common option slowly will be replaced by cremation.
While many think that cremation is super expensive it might not be the case. The cost of cremation varies from region to region within the UK with the average cost of cremation being £790 in London, £809 in Wales, £881 in Scotland and £958 in the South West. While the price significantly varies it remains the cheapest to cremate in Northern Ireland at only £408.
Research revealed that the cost of cremation varies across each region within the UK. This isn’t any different from the burial costs, however, the most and least expensive is the opposite of the cremation costs. The cheapest is in Northern Ireland at £520, £1,287 in the South West, £1,686 in Wales, £1,650 in Scotland and £4,391 in London.
When it comes to considering the effects of the cremation or burial process on the environment, unfortunately both have negative effects on our planet. So you would have to weigh all the pros and cons that come with the two processes.
The cremation process requires an extensive amount of gas to be able to achieve the required heat hence producing a substantial amount of CO2 that will be released into the atmosphere. Also, there are components in the body such as dental fillings which when burned release mercury also polluting the environment.
You may think that burial might be more expensive but has no negative effects on our planet, so if you’re a person who really cares about the environment you may be happy to pay the extra cash. However, traditional burial also comes with negative consequences on the planet. The liquid called formaldehyde which is used in the embalming process will leak into the soil when decomposition process starts. There are also other materials used in the coffins that may also affect the soil. The manufacturing process of the coffins and other required materials required for the burial process uses up extensive energy and produces a lot of waste, which again isn’t any good for the environment.
Whether to go for cremation, which has become very popular in recent days or for a more traditional burial really depends on your personal choice, requirements, and circumstances. One may be more expensive than the other or one may impact the environment in a certain way while the other in a different way. Some people might find it easier to deal with bereavement if they go for the traditional burial where the bodies of their loved ones are buried. For some it may be easier to take the ashes of their loved ones to a nice place where they liked to go.
The question of cremation or burial isn’t always easy, especially on top of the grief one experiences. Both come with advantages and disadvantages and the choice will have to be considered on an individual level. But we hope that this guide was helpful for you to better understand what exactly cremation and burial mean and you will now be able to make the best choice possible.