In 1960, only 3.6 percent of Americans chose cremation. Now, the cremation rate is almost 50 percent and is projected to increase to over 70 percent by 2030.
What caused this drastic change in consumer behavior? One of the biggest reasons cited by experts is more flexibility surrounding religious beliefs and a divergence from traditional burials. However, there are many other benefits to cremation and reasons why more and more people are choosing it.
Although cost will vary depending on a number of factors, cremation is much more cost-effective than traditional burials. The average cost of a funeral today is about $6,500, with the casket comprising a significant portion of this cost. With a burial vault, the price jumps to nearly $8,000.
Cremations are typically about one-third as expensive as traditional burials, since they don’t require a costly casket or burial services. People are increasingly realizing they can honor their loved ones with dignified services without having to pay an unnecessarily high price tag. This realization has been one of the main driving factors behind the growing popularity of cremation.
2. Environmental Concerns
Another reason for the increase in cremation rates is the nation’s growing concern over environmental impact. Cremation circumvents many of the common environmental problems caused by burial, such as:
Embalming – In United States cemeteries, over 820,000 gallons of embalming fluid are buried each year. Embalming fluids are a mixture of formaldehyde, ethanol, methanol and other substances, making embalming fluids harmful to the environment. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen that can leak into streams and other water sources located near funeral homes or cemeteries.
Unsustainable Materials – Many caskets are made from unsustainable materials, such as wood or metal. These have a very slow decomposition rate, and the massive demand for wood contributes to deforestation.
Land Scarcity – Cemeteries require large tracts of land. These obviously cannot be used for farming or construction, and with growing land scarcity, this trend is also becoming a bigger concern for environmentalists.
Although cremation is not 100 percent eco-friendly, it is considerably better for the environment than traditional burials.
3. Freedom and Flexibility
Cremation allows for much more freedom and flexibility for family members. Burial services are relatively time-sensitive, which can be a burden on grieving loved ones. Burials can be stressful to coordinate, and the added pressure of the timing can make it even more difficult for family members.
Cremation does not require the same level of immediacy. It allows the family to schedule a memorial service around the availability of others, while also giving them adequate time to grieve and make arrangements. More and more people are also pre-arranging their own cremations, since it allows for more creativity and customization than traditional burials. Some people choose to have their ashes scattered in places that hold some sentimental value to them and their families – private property, public spaces, national parks or even at sea.
For an increasing number of Americans, cremation has become the preferred option for their loved ones. If you’re interested in a cremation franchise opportunity within a growing segment, call Cypress Pointe Cremation directly at 618-741-7835, or contact Joe@cypresspointecremation.com.
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