Category Archives: Environment
It is probably fair to say that many of us don’t have a clue what needs to be done if someone dies. After all, there are professionals to sort it all out for us and we’re grateful for the advice and services on offer. In my own experience most Funeral Directors are wonderfully helpful and compassionate.
But are we paying too high a price for our separation from the processes of death and grieving? I don’t just mean financially, although it is true that funeral prices are high and rapidly increasing – I mean also that our modern way of death may literally be costing us the earth.
It is estimated that some 75% of funerals in the UK now involve embalming, which is usually totally unecessary and damaging to the environment, as it uses formaldehyde – a chemical which is both corrosive and carcinogenic.
In the USA, a traditional ten-acre cemetery holds enough embalming fluid to fill a small swimming pool, according to the Smithsonian magazine.* American coffins are often made of metal, sometimes lead-lined and lacquered too, all of which adds both to the cost financially and to the planet.
So should we all go for cremation? In the UK most modern crematoria are now able to remove some toxins before they enter the environment (for example mercury in tooth fillings). Other emissions – not all removed – include carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride and sulphur dioxoide. Even scattering the ashes gives nothing back to the earth, as they are sterile. Read More…