The Rising Costs of Memorial Services — Why Going Green is Extending Beyond the Grave

With life, eventually comes death. Although it is a very difficult subject to discuss, it is still an important one. Making your preferences known as to your final decisions about gravestones, burial, or cremation allows remaining family members to focus on their memories and your celebration of life instead of stressing about what you would have wanted.

Historically, the traditional option was to be buried in a cemetery. People would choose a coffin and a gravesite. After the burial and funeral, a headstone would be placed. This headstone was engraved with birth and death dates and sometimes a short favorite quote of the deceased or the family.

The types of stone for gravestones varied. The limestone headstone and sandstone headstone were popular, with both being generally more affordable than white granite headstone or marble grave markers.

A different option is cremation, which means there is no need for gravestones since most ashes are not buried. Instead, people prefer to keep the ashes of loved ones in special containers or carry a loved one with them, for example, in the form of jewelry. Cremation is considered ecologically friendly and rapidly gaining in popularity, with ever-increasing options to keep a loved one’s ashes close.

Memorial necklaces for ashes

 Death is never an easy subject. However hard it may be, unfortunately we all must face it. Oftentimes, the dearly departed will be commemorated with a memorial of sorts. With the green movement catching on, environmentally friendly memorials and services, such as cremation, have increased 20%. With the costs rising and the impact of traditional caskets to the environment being brought to light, many are choosing this timeless method. Whether you’re searching for animal urns for ashes, a decorative ash keepsake for a recently departed friend or family member, a condolence for a friend, or even an ash container for yourself there are many types of urns to choose from.

The Costs of a Funeral

      While the loss of a loved one is emotionally trying, more often than not it can be just as hard on your wallet. The average traditional funeral can cost over $10,000. The environmental impact is just as shocking. In one year in North America, one million tons of steel caskets (that’s three Empire State Building’s worth) and over 825,000 gallons of embalming fluid (enough to fill one and one fourth Olympic sized swimming pools) are buried into the Earth. Neither of which leave a positive impact behind.

Why Choose the Environmentally Friendly Route?

      When choosing to go green, not only are you helping the environment, you’re also helping out your wallet. Green burials cost approximately $2,500, while green body viewing with cremation costs roughly $3,100. According to the Natural Death Centre, biodegradable coffins reduce harmful carbon emissions by up to 50%. Reducing carbon footprints after death is memorable and can help ease the painful conversations of mourners. Biodegradable cremation urns and caskets are also more affordable than traditional steel items and, according to the Green Burial Council, over 300 burial providers are environmentally friendly.

Cremation Throughout the Ages

      Cremation has been around for centuries. The Roman Empire is the most notable for their decorative urns. Cremation was widely practiced with the decorative urns being placed in a columbarium. By the Victorian Era, mass production allowed for memorial necklaces for ashes to be widely available for all. In the United States in 2009, 37% of all deaths were cremated. Today, pet cremation is becoming ever popular so you can keep Fido and Fluffy with you in an ash keepsake.

The Many Styles of Urns

      The styles for cremation keepsakes are endless. From ornate animal urns for ashes to titanium cremation jewelry to simple burial urns, there is something to fit every personality. A cremation bracelet or even scattering urns would make lovely unique sympathy gifts for those going through a loss. Be sure to check your local ordinances if scattering the ashes is requested, the federal government and all state governments have regulations on this.

      While there has yet to be a safe grief preventative, death does not have to be such a hard hit financially and environmentally. With many green options ranging from biodegradable caskets to centuries old cremation, your loved ones will be uniquely memorialized. Animal urns for ashes, ash necklaces, and memorial keepsakes for ashes all are available to commemorate your loved one.

Leave a Reply