Tree Frog Forestry News

The environmental toll of cremating the dead

By Becky Little
National Geographic
November 5, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Over the past four years, cremations have surpassed burials as the most popular end-of-life option in the United States. …Cremation—along with these creative ways to honor the dead—is often marketed as a more environmentally friendly option than traditional embalmment and casket burial. …But while it’s true that cremation is less harmful than pumping a body full of formaldehyde and burying it on top of concrete, there are still environmental effects to consider. Cremation requires a lot of fuel, and it results in millions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year—enough that some environmentalists are trying to rethink the process. …This year, Washington State became the first in the U.S. to legalize a type of corpse composting called natural organic reduction, or recomposition. 

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