Ecological Costs of Contemporary Burials
Each Year, the U.S.’s 22,500 cemeteries bury about
- 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid
- 30-plus million board feet of hardwoods (much tropical; caskets)
- 90,272 tons of steel (caskets)
- 1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete (vaults)
- 14,000 tons of steel (vaults)
- 2,700 tons of copper and bronze (caskets)
On average, a cemetery buries 1,000 gallons of embalming fluid, 97.5 tons of steel, 2,028 tons of concrete, and 56,250 board feet of high quality tropical hardwood in just one acre of green
And then there’s the tons of fertilizers, pesticides, and water – not to mention emissions like CO2, nitrates, ozone, soot and more that it takes to keep cemeteries looking well manicured.
Ecological Costs of Contemporary Cremations
- Each cremation releases between .8 and 5.9 grams of mercury as bodies are burned. This amounts to between 1,000 and 7,800 pounds of mercury released each year in the U.S. 75% goes into the air and the rest settles into the ground and water.
- You could drive about 4,800 miles on the energy equivalent of the energy used to cremate someone – and to the moon and back 85 times from all cremations in one year in the U.S.
- Cremation removes the body from the cycle of nature, keeping it from nourishing new life
Cremations in Tompkins County release between 1.2 and 6.8 pounds of mercury into the atmosphere each year. This estimate is based on a 20% statewide, cremation rate – though the county’s rate is probably higher.
A lifetime of growth continued…
Your choice for natural burial is a choice for natural renewal and growth – a way to give back to the earth that sustains us all.
Save a forest … plant yourself!