Cremation has been outpacing traditional burial in recent years, and many are struggling to pick which is the best option. Whether you’re interested in finding a green death, or you simply want to make the best option for the family you’re leaving behind: these are the pros and cons of cremation over burial.
Pro: More Affordable Than Burial
Cremation costs 50% to 60% more affordable than classic burials. You don’t have to deal with embalming, the oversized casket, the burial plot, or half of the services required in a classic burial; instead, you pay for the cremation and some type of end-of-life ceremony, and that’s it.
If you don’t have much money to leave behind, or you know your family can’t afford much, it’s vital that you consider a form of burial that will make the most financial sense.
Con: Not Acceptable for Some Religions
There are some religions that either don’t allow cremation or have specific rules about it you’ll have to follow. These religions are Islam, Mormonism, Presbyterian or Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and Orthodox Judaism.
Although you may only feel loosely tied to your religion, you may feel pressured by the tradition of it to do what it requires of your remains.
Pro: Better for the Environment
Although cremation does let off a large amount of CO2: it’s still greener than the modern burial. Not only does the modern burial take up perfectly good land, but it also leeches chemicals into the dirt, can cause a build-up of gasses in coffins, and requires a lot of water use to keep graveyards and cemeteries as green as possible. This isn’t feasible in many environments and is not only expensive but terrible for the environment.
Con: May Not Match What Your Family’s Done
Many people like to follow in line with what their family does and try to keep to the traditions they know. Modern cremation, as it’s done in America, is less than 150 years old, going back to Pennsylvania in 1876. Although there are a couple of generations there, it’s not enough that it’s become a family tradition for some. A large portion of Americans feel pressure to follow in the footsteps of what their family’s done: and because of this, it’s vital to undertake this task as well.
Pro: More Choices for Final Resting Spaces
Final resting spaces are a large choice. In areas like Germany, you rent your burial spot, and then after a set number of years, you’re cremated and given to your descendants. People want to pick a burial spot that matters to them and will allow them to create a space their family can visit and think of them. Cremation gives you more freedom of destinations and burial spots.
Everyone Deserves an End-of-Life Plan They Want
Although once you die, you won’t be here to allow your wishes to be known: you deserve to get what you want to be done with your body. Make an end-of-life plan, and let loved ones know what you want.