This article discusses considerations of cremation vs. burial.
I found it because I've been wanting to plan for my demise and make it easier for my family by paying for the costs of burial, etc. before I pass.
I've been planning, for years to go the way of cremation, but I wondered about whether that or burial was the more sustainable approach. This article reports,
Effects of Burial
Unfortunately, a traditional burial has a major negative impact, due to the tune of approximately 800,000 gallons of formaldehyde in embalming fluid each year.
A 10-acre cemetery contains an average of 1,000 tons of casket steel and enough wood to build over 40 houses. In addition, overcrowded cemeteries have no room for plant or animal life.
Many people are unaware of the negative impact that cut flowers have on the environment. Most of the cut flowers that are bought for the purpose of leaving at a loved one's grave are grown in South America where intensive amounts of pesticide are used, some of which are banned in North America.Effects of Cremation
The crematoria emission of vaporized mercury is a subject of concern and controversy. Vaporized mercury disperses into the air and eventually falls back to earth in what is frequently know as acid rain, which is then deposited on our water and land. Humans are mainly exposed to this toxin through food.
Nevertheless, it is important to mention that the amount of the emission of this toxin from cremating is minor when compared to wood burning fireplaces, industrial boilers, diesel vehicles, and even dentist offices (Due to the mercury in fillings).
The article reports that Jewish law says burial in a cemetery is required. Not gonna happen in my case.
That's reassuring for me. I've always thought that I'd like my kids to scatter my ashes at a few places that made me happy-- a place on the Delaware River where I used to go fishing, a ski hill a local park where I waded the creek to go fishing. It would be nice if the memorial could be at the creek, the most easy to access place. I'd much rather my family and loved ones go there than to a cemetery for the memorial, and if they ever want to remember me.
The other question is who does the memorial ceremony. I'm still working on that. I can think of two people who come to mind-- a female Rabbi I like and who I've stayed friends with after I stopped being affiliated with the synagogue I'd been a member of, and the minister who leads the interfaith church I've maintained a loose connection with over the years. But I'm open to other ideas, including having friends and family do it.
What experiences have you had with alternative approaches to funerals and memorials, and what are your plans?
I'm curious what your plans and thoughts are. It seems that after cremation, the ceremonies are the most expensive aspects.