There are many aspects involved in choosing between burial and cremation. The truth is that the real choice boils down to your personal situation: what your deceased loved one wants, what you reckon suits him or her and your own set of preferences and values. Why? This is because fundamentally as an afterlife service, many people fail to see that neither is better than the other.
This is where cremation gets debunked. Although it’s true that direct cremation with no associated funeral is a much cheaper, this is not what most people want. Many people want to be embalmed and be located in a casket prior to being cremated. Some want their remains to be located at a columbarium or at a cemetery plot.
Furthermore, there are some extremely costly activities which many want to do with the remains like launching them into space or turning them into diamonds. This would render the cost of the whole cremation package similar to a burial or maybe even more. Hence, it’s unreasonable to choose cremation because it’s “cheaper”, because when you’re looking for high quality, it’s a far cry from cheap. Burial isn’t cheap either but needs no rebuking as its costliness is widely understood.
Many people might think that cremation is a modern phenomenon and hence they might be wary. In other words, they would rather stick to burial as it’s more of an established convention which had worked out just fine for very long as compared to the new and untested cremation. This is untrue. Although burial has been practiced since 5000 BC and cremation 3000 BC, it’s still miles away from “modern”. The popularity of cremation has risen only recently, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t effectively existed all this time. It can be considered established just as how burial is. In fact, studies had shown that the practice of cremation might have been conducted even 20,000 years ago.
The truth is both methods harm the environment in their own way. Burial harms the ground while cremation harms the air. The rare hardwood that burial caskets need is associated with deforestation and non-biodegradable materials harming the soil. Embalming chemicals can also cause environmental detriment as it leaks into the soil and kills plants. On the other hand, cremation also has its share of environmental compromise. It requires a great deal of fossil fuels, releases greenhouse gases (aggravating global warming), nitric oxides and sulfuric dioxide (aggravating acid rain). Cremation also faces a rising problem: mercury emissions. Therefore, neither are can be considered tree-hugging methods.
Honoring your deceased loved ones has one objective: to carry out their wishes or taking care of their remains you think they would like it. You might have this discussion with your loved ones before so let this be your personal guide, as relying on external factors can be largely confusing. Whether it is cremation or burial, both cost similarly in all aspects, if high quality is imperative for you (which it should definitely be). Hence, make the cost worth it by making it coincide with what your deceased loved one wants. Let this be a service of respect and thanksgiving for his or her contributions in your life.