Is Cremation Environmental?

 In Cremation, Environment

Is cremation environmental hints at the answer, no, it is not? All forms of incineration create gasses that pollute the air. They also release carbon into the atmosphere. What a scenario, to use a loved one’s body to increase asthma in children, to add to vehicle pollution in the streets. Why bother with recycling or buying an electric car if you then cremate a person’s body? Incineration is just plain harmful to nature and to us. It has to change, we have to see sense and make a more responsible decision. Natural burial is that responsible option because it’s available right now, somewhere near you. Placing the body in a natural environment creates life and beauty. A natural burial grave is pure spirituality, an embrace of nature.


I first worked at a crematorium in Shrewsbury in the 1960’s. My boss and just about everybody was infatuated with this new idea. Consequently, I never questioned it, firstly because it appeared technological, secondly because cemeteries seemed so naff, so Victorian. However, I was ignorant and so were all those other people who believed in it. Over some decades, I realised that nobody really understood what happened when we burned something, anything indeed. I also realised that a cremator was just an incinerator. That, basically, is a big tin box lined with refractories and sporting a massive gas jet. There is nothing sophisticated about it, it is crude and, indeed, a violent end for a body. Strange to think that we abhor putrefaction, a natural process, and laud incineration.

The Cremation Society

The Cremation Society website states that the process is a ‘rational, safe and dignified method of disposal of the dead’. Firstly, that might have been true over a century ago but have we learnt something since then? They have not because there is no mention of the environment, the little matter of global warming. Worse, the website is pure Victoriana and so outdated. Look for yourself. However, it rightly mentions that 78% of people choose cremation. No, they choose nothing but simply go with the flow. Finally, that word dignified. Have you ever looked into a cremator. It is a violent and ugly process, take my word for it.

Is cremation environmental

Nowadays, the big companies and local authorities are so invested in cremation it is difficult to see a way out. All religious groups and Humanists should state that it is better avoided. However, a Direct Cremation is quick and therefore cheap. Who cares if there is a little pollution? Well, I do because that little pollutuion occurs in over 400,000 annual cremations in the UK alone. London has a pall of unseen cremation gasses in the sky above, and then we send it over to Europe. That is a nice gift to Western nations. Whereas, 400,000 natural burial graves would have created well over 400 acres of woodland or native wildflowers. That would be a gift to us all, and to butterflies, moths and owls, to name but a few. Don’t die in vain, die and create life through the simple decision of opting for natural burial.

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