When their time is over, most people would like to leave a positive stamp on the world. There are plenty of ways to do that between being good to friends and family, doing charity work, or even just being the best person they can be. However, now they may be able to help the environment as well.
It may be hard to believe, but many traditional methods of burial can actually be harmful to the environment. Typically it is the type of receptacle that has the largest impact.
For example, Just in the United States, there are at least one million tons of steel caskets buried every year. These coffins do not naturally degrade overtime.
And even beyond the burial receptacle, the remains themselves often go through operations to preserve them that can in turn harm the surrounding environment. Embalming fluid is a substance that is injected into bodily remains to preserve them; sometimes only long enough for the funeral, others are long-term. It is estimated that over the more than 22,500 cemeteries across the United States, about 827,060 gallons of harmful embalming fluid is buried every year.
One effective way around this is to go the route of cremation. This entirely removes the need for any embalming fluid, as well as reduces the size of the container that would be buried with a burial urn.
As an added bonus, burial urns can be replaced with memorial keepsakes for ashes in order to keep loved ones close by and easily remembered in a home or other location. These cremation practices actually became widely used as far back as the Roman Empire — 27 B.C. to 395 A.D. — where the remains were stored in elaborate cremation urns for ashes, and often placed in niches within columbarium-like buildings.
Every memorial deserves to be unique, and in doing so many could be environmentally friendly as well. Burial urns and memorial ash keepsakes could keep your loved ones close forever.