Not so long ago, cremation was frowned upon by the majority of the population in the US. In fact, in the 1960s, the approval rating for cremation among Americans was just a little over 3 percent. Since then, cremation has now overtaken traditional burial in popularity, causing significant shifts in the funeral industry. Part of this could be because of religious reasons, with certain religions once strongly opposed to cremation coming around to it in the current age. This is certainly a factor for some people, but many practical and sentimental reasons play into the decision as well.
One hates to think about money at the time of something as overwhelming as planning a funeral, but it is an unavoidable, unfortunate factor. The simple fact is that services offered by the likes of Heritage Cremation Provider are typically much cheaper than all the costs of a traditional burial. Traditional burials typically cost several thousand dollars with the embalming process, a burial vault, and caskets racking up huge prices compared to the much cheaper (often around a third of the price) cost of a cremation service. In tough economic times, it isn’t hard to see why so many families would choose this option.
Families are more spread throughout the country than they have ever been, and this can make cremation an attractive option for services. It permits more flexibility with travel times as well as more options for a memorial service because ashes can easily be stored in a wide variety of locations. Cremation also allows more options for body disposal as well as honoring the loved one.
When most people hear “cremation,” they probably think of the longstanding breakdown of the body through flame. While this is the most common method, it isn’t the only option available. Alkaline hydrolysis, also frequently called water cremation, is an alternative option that produces no greenhouse gases. This makes it even more eco-friendly than standard cremation. This is a process in which the body is dissolved through a combination of water, alkaline mixtures, and high temperature. It may sound unorthodox, but this is actually the equivalent of natural decomposition that would normally take place over many years.
Finally, cremation offers many options for how to dispose of the remains or honor the loved one in a meaningful way. One of the most common ways to dispose of ashes is to scatter them over a location that was meaningful to the loved one. However, more creative methods of preserving a loved one’s memory are becoming more common. From planting the loved one’s ashes with soil to bring new life into the world as a tree to mixing the ashes with ink for an honorary tattoo, possibilities are surprising and endless. Depending on the tastes and passions of the departed, a creative send-off may be just the thing to honor a loved one.
As time goes on, this is a bigger and bigger concern for many of us. Increasing land scarcity is one of the best cases against the traditional burial in modern times, because cemeteries essentially create off-limit land that can’t be used for any other purpose. Many people have concerns about embalming fluids leaking from caskets, because they are Class 1 carcinogens. It also uses up materials such as hardwood and metals that could otherwise be used in other projects.
Finally, accepting cremation potentially gives more options for prearrangement. Some people may be against traditional burials for reasons listed here or something more personal. Having alternative options allows people to set their own affairs in order the way they see fit.
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