Why Is Cremation Becoming More Popular in the U.S.?

May 19, 2021

The cremation rate in the U.S. was at 54% in 2019 and is predicted to grow to 79% by the year 2035. More Americans are choosing cremation over traditional burials nowadays. According to the National Funeral Directors Association estimate, about 80% of Americans will choose to be cremated in the next twenty years. As an increasing number of traditional funeral homes close their entrances, cremation services increase in quantity and offerings. But despite such a long period of being the favored option, why are traditionally preferred services on the decline, and why is cremation gaining more acceptance?

1. The Simplicity of the Cremation Process

Cremation is very inexpensive and also a process where you control how your loved one is memorialized. You won't need a casket, funeral service, or funeral coach. It does not entail any requirement to purchase a graveyard plot or a tombstone. In the cremation process, you may even decide to have an urn.

2. Cremation Offers Flexibility

In the past, family plots in cemeteries and graveyards were used because families lived close to each other. In today's globalized world, people move around much more, and family members live apart. Even when people choose to be buried in the family plot, there are no guarantees that the whole family will be able to attend a memorial or funeral at the same time. A traditional burial demands immediacy that can be challenging to coordinate and upsetting to miss.

Cremation services allow the deceased loved one's family and friends to come together at their own pace. They also have more time to decide how to memorialize their loved ones after cremation.

A traditional burial service demands to finalize things in a minimal time while cremains or ashes can be kept for a more extended period, providing the opportunity to make decisions on scattering, burial, and selection of the memorial site.

3. Cremation is Efficient

For most people, one of the hardest things is dealing with a loved one's end-of-life arrangements. Cremation processes not only keep you away from these emotional upheavals but also save your time. Your provider takes care of all the formalities from the very beginning until the ashes are delivered to you, allowing you more time to spend with grieving friends and family.

Moreover, as most families live apart, it is hard to plan a timely funeral. It is simpler to cremate your loved one and keep the ashes, wherever you want, for a later memorial service. Some families even share ashes as a way of sharing grief and loss.

4. Cost-Effectiveness

The cost of plots in graveyards is rising, and cemeteries are charging hefty amounts for organizing simple burials. In general, statistics reveal that cremation costs are lower than burial. Today a funeral costs about $8000 with additional expenses for the plot and the casket. By comparison, a cremation costs about one-third of that amount. Even traditional cremation services that cover an entire ceremony tend to cost less than a traditional burial having the same ceremony.

5. Environmental Impact

People are becoming more conscious about ecosystems and are already worried about their carbon footprint. In this period of global challenges, cremation appears to be a suitable option for environmentally eco-conscious citizens.

According to an estimate from Green Burial Council, 4.3 million gallons of embalming fluid are immersed into the earth in the U.S. each year. As a mixture of formaldehyde, ethanol, and other organic liquids, embalming fluid spreads carcinogens in the soil. Additionally, the caskets and concrete vaults used in burials have a slow decomposition rate and are environmentally unfriendly.

Moreover, in light of global concerns like deforestation and climate change, more people than ever consider the environmental impact when selecting funeral services. The quantity of wood required to create caskets is equal to 4 million square acres of forest, which grows enough trees to absorb 65 million tons of carbon dioxide a year.

Another arising concern is that the United States might run out of useful land because cemeteries use a lot of space. According to an estimate of Bloomberg.com, almost 76 million Americans will reach their average life expectancy by the year 2042. The burial space requirements to meet such population demand will require almost 83200 acres of land. The area covered by cemeteries cannot be used for agricultural purposes, and the scarcity of farming land will badly impact the employment ratio and revenue of the country.

Some eco-friendly cremation options include:

  • Planting cremains in an eco-friendly urn.
  • Putting cremains in a coral reef.
  • Plant a garden or a tree with cremains.
  • Cremation saves Lands as Ashes can be kept in a small columbarium, Urn or can be Scattered.

Although cremation does release some carbon emissions, the impact is less environmentally harmful. With the improvement of technology, the carbon footprint of cremation is further being reduced.

6. Transparency of Preplanning Option

Making decisions about handling funeral or cremation services can be difficult when facing the sudden death of a loved one. If someone preplans their cremation, it will reduce the burden of making tough choices in times of grief. When the departed has their final disposition method preplanned, it allows the family to memorialize their lost one's life and not fret over expenses and choices. One of the main reasons why people choose cremation is the transparency of the process. Traditional funeral companies have damaged their reputation by sneaking extra charges and other unexpected expenses into the final cost of their services. And it's not surprising how such costly additions can go overlooked until the ceremony ends. You do not get charged for any hidden costs in cremation. From the very beginning, the service providers are straightforward about the cost of each service they offer.

7. Changes in Cultural and Religious Attitudes

The main reason cremation is becoming more popular now is the change in concerns about death. Cremation grants them more freedom to scatter ashes in creative ways. For instance, planting gardens from cremains allow families to reflect upon the spirit and importance of the deceased life.

Changing religious beliefs has also made people consider cremation as a chance to celebrate life instead of mourning a loss. In the past, many significant religions firmly condemned the practice of cremation. As time passed, religious attitudes toward cremation have changed, with Catholicism and Judaism, especially, showing more acceptance towards the method.

In present times, cremation is becoming more acceptable in most Protestant churches and Catholic churches. These changes in religious attitude have happened for several reasons, the most prominent of which is that cremation is no longer perceived to impede resurrection. The single restriction is that the church opposes the scattering of ashes.

8. Creative Memorial Options

Cremains allow you to memorialize and remember your loved one in creative ways. Also, you can insert ashes into small cases and wear them around your neck as a remembrance because memorial jewelry can be a unique way to keep the memory of your loved one alive. After cremation, people also encase ashes in glass art memorials. Another memorial option after cremation that is gaining more popularity is creating memorial reefs in the sea.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to "A Direct Cremation" at 1-877-938-0672