In 1960, less than 4% of Americans chose cremation as their way to memorialize their loved ones. In 2019, that went up to almost 70%. Within a single generation, cremation has become the most popular choice by the population. How did this change so quickly?
The Cremation Process
Cremation is the process that turns human remains into bone fragments and then processes those fragments into ashes. The cremation process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the heat of the cremation chamber and the size of the body.
Once the process is complete, the remains are swept into a processor that breaks down bone fragments until they are at least 1/8” in size. Adult cremated remains weigh between 4 to 6 pounds. The ashes are placed into your urn or another container of choice and then turned over to your family.
Personal items cannot be cremated along with the body for safety reasons. Not everything is combustible, and some items may cause damage to the crematory. Every step of the cremation process is thoroughly documented. You will be able to have a viewing before and during the cremation process if you choose.
3 Reasons Why Cremation Has Become A More Common Choice
A cremation is a cost-effective option on multiple fronts. For one, it is less expensive than a traditional funeral. The costs of a metal casket, cemetery plot, and grave marker can add up substantially. Direct cremation, on the other hand, costs less than $1,000.
The role of cemeteries in family life is changing as well. Previous generations owned large family plots so the members of their family can be buried together. Today, family cemetery plots in large cities can cost over $1 million.
Cremation provides a lot of flexibility when it comes to memorialization. You and your family have many options for the ashes. You can choose to place the ashes in a columbarium or entomb it in your family mausoleum. Alternatively, some families purchase or design a cremation urn to display on their mantle at home. Later, they might choose to spread the ashes on family land or a location with sentimental value.
Cremation has grown in popularity along with the environmental movement. Traditional funerals use over 4 million gallons of embalming fluid, and over 1.6 million tons of concrete are buried each year. Cremated remains require little to no land use—you can keep ashes in your home or scatter them in a meaningful location.
The process of cremation does involve high carbon emissions. As technology improves over the years, the environmental impact lessens over the years.
Green cremation is another option—instead of using combustible material, water, potassium hydroxide, heat, and high pressure are used to reduce the body into bone ash. This method results in nearly zero air emissions into the atmosphere and minimizes greenhouse gases. To date, this is the most environmentally friendly method for preserving human remains.
Nowadays, cremation has become a choice many individuals prefer to traditional funerals. As religious and cultural customs shift and change, families are choosing to make more personal decisions when it comes to memorializing loved ones. Some advantages to choosing cremation include cost, environmental impact, and flexible options.
Evergreen Cemetery, Funeral Home, and Crematory offer affordable cremation services in Jacksonville, FL. Our professional and caring staff has been serving the community since 1880. We are dedicated to working with your family to assist you in your time of need. Contact us today.