Most people don’t spend a lot of time considering how they’ll affect the world after they pass away, but many people consider how they want to change it while they are still alive. There are currently several options for those interested in thinking outside the box, even if cremation and traditional burial remain the two most popular disposal choices in the United States. Read on for 4 different end of life options.
1. Go Green
As the demand for environmentally responsible disposition choices rises, there are an increasing number of green cemeteries that have been approved by the Green Burial Council. Green burial practices include avoiding embalming (or embalming using environmentally friendly materials), using biodegradable burial caskets or shrouds, and placing grave markers in locations that preserve the surrounding landscape. Supporters frequently believe it makes a more natural contribution to the cycle of life, in addition to the environmental advantages.
2. Alkaline hydrolysis
Alkaline hydrolysis is gaining popularity as a potential cremation substitute. A body is immersed in a hot potassium hydroxide alkali solution throughout the procedure (KOH). This mirrors the body’s normal decomposition process, but it happens much faster—in a matter of hours rather than years. Alkaline hydrolysis is seen as a more environmentally friendly option because it uses less energy than traditional cremation. Nevertheless, as of early 2018, it was only legal in 15 states, so you’ll need to check if it’s available where you reside.
3. Classic Cremation
The decision to have a cremation rather than a burial is easier because there are less logistics or plans that the remaining family and friends need to discuss and decide on. There are many memorialization choices with cremation. In addition to burying cremated remains, there are additional possibilities, such as storing the ashes in an urn or other container, planting a tree in memory, or choosing a different kind of memorial location. Consumers choose cremation primarily for financial reasons, nevertheless. More affordable than burial is cremation.
The average funeral now costs around $8,500, including the cost of the casket, which may be as high as $3,000. In contrast, cremations often cost one-third of such amounts. Often, a so-called “direct cremation” with little ceremony is the least expensive alternative. Family members may participate in cremations, and the ceremony may be held before or after other memorial services. The average cost of cremation is $2,300.
Entombments are above-ground graves, as opposed to ground burials. The crypt is then sealed after the body or cremated remains have been placed inside. Granite or marble is used to construct crypts. They can contain the remains of a single person or several. The bones are then enclosed in a sarcophagus or tomb. The least popular type of burial is entombment. It is more difficult to find and less cheap than cremation. Traditional burials lack the cleanliness, ease, and spaciousness that above-ground graves provide.
Mausoleums provide year-round convenience if you intend to frequently visit your loved one’s grave. In the winter they are warm, while in the summer they are cool. Your loved one wouldn’t be able to have a burial below ground if they passed away in the winter. Instead, until the ground thaws in the spring, your loved one’s remains are kept in storage. You don’t have to put off death planning because mausoleums are accessible all year long.