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Can Cremation Be Green? Find out now

We’ve all heard how harmful burials can be for the environment if they aren’t a green burial, but what about cremation? When you consider that traditional burial has resulted in 4.3 million gallons of embalming fluid going into the ground, cremation is clearly the more eco-friendly option.
Green Cremation Services
Green Cremation Services at Austin Funeral Home

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However, today there’s a wide spectrum of cremation services that vary in eco-friendliness. Figuring out how green cremation truly is warrants taking a closer look at what makes an end of life service more or less environmentally-friendly than the next.

Potential Byproducts of Cremation

Cremation services aren’t 100% zero impact, but no end of life service today is. And it’s true that traditional flame-based cremation can have adverse effects on the environment. 

  • If you aren’t careful medical metals can be incinerated and create toxic air pollution.
  • Carbon-dioxide gasses are also released anytime something is burned. 
  • In many cases, fossil fuels like natural gas are used for flame cremation.

Those are the exact reasons why Green Cremation Texas exists. We saw a need to make cremation more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly, so we did. It’s a mission we’ve upheld for over 20 years. Over the years, society has become more aware of the environmental cost that comes with end of life services. As a result, there are now several green options that are available to most people.

How Green Cremation Compares to Green Burial

Both green cremation and green burial are based on the principle of doing things as naturally as possible. Ironically, these two methods are what people did for thousands of years until modern-day funerals became popular. 

Here’s a breakdown that explains what makes each service green. 

Green Burials

Think of a green burial like a traditional burial with all of the funeral home intervention mostly eliminated. There’s no embalming or casket involved. And often families forgo the formal viewing services along with the printed memorial service materials. Green burials tend to be very simple with the body wrapped in a cotton shroud and placed directly in a burial plot.

It’s a very low-impact option, but the idea isn’t for everyone. Cost is also a factor. In addition to the preparation fees, families typically pay up to $4,000 for a plot in a green cemetery, grave marker and the one-time cemetery expenses. 

Finding a green cemetery is another limitation. Before choosing this option make sure you know the local regulations for burial. 

Direct Cremation

All the things that make green burial eco-friendly apply to direct cremation as well. Direct cremation is when the body is cremated but there is no viewing service at the funeral home beforehand. There’s no need to embalm, rent a casket or purchase a plot/vault. 

At Green Cremation Texas, we’ve built an energy-efficient crematorium that reduces the environmental effect of flame-based cremation. The clean flame cremation process includes additional steps to ensure no medical devices or metals are incinerated. In addition, no plastics are ever burned and the incineration time is reduced.

In the hands of a careful professional, direction cremation is extremely green and cost-effective. The service is usually around $1,000.

Aquamation (Water Cremation)

This is one of the newest end of life services, which is currently allowed in 20 states and counting. Aquamation, also known as water cremation or alkaline hydrolysis, doesn’t involve flame at all. The body is submerged in an alkali water solution. This creates an accelerated natural decomposition.

Aquamation is considered by many to be the most eco-friendly service. It’s also much less expensive than a green burial at approximately $2,000. 

Each option has its pros and cons along with different prices. Choosing an end of life service is one of the most personal decisions a family will make. If minimal environmental impact is a priority it’s good to know you have options.

We believe so much that cremation can be green that we put it in our name. We are Texas’ only carbon-neutral funeral home; we use no paper, utilize electric-hybrid vehicles, and incorporate recycled material throughout the cremation process. Intently focused on providing a high level of care to you and the environment, we aim to return control over the end of life process back to you and your family.

We are constantly working to make cremation more and more green.

Picture of Marlaena Gonzales

Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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