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Is Burying Organic Matter Eco-Friendly?

In principle, burying organic matter sounds like an eco-friendly move. In reality, that’s not necessarily the case. Burying any material uses precious land – something that, in many parts of the world, is in increasingly short supply. There are other strictly environmental concerns, too. In short, then, the most concise answer to the question, ‘Is burying organic matter eco-friendly?’ is invariably a resounding no. 

When it comes to the discussion surrounding burying organic matter, it’s a topic with far-reaching implications. Take the burial of our loved ones after their passing, for example. Of course, there are alternatives, with cremation being the most common. Unfortunately, this, too, has a negative impact on the environment, including releasing massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Thankfully, there are alternatives to burying organic matter on all fronts. At Return Home, we’ve pioneered a process called Terramation – more on that in a moment. But first, a closer look at the environmental impact of burying organic matter in any instance. At the same time, we’ll also take a peek at precisely why cremation often isn’t as eco-friendly as people may believe.

Burying Organic Matter

Burying organic matter is something that happens day in and day out worldwide. From disposing of household waste to agricultural and industrial applications, it’s a daily occurrence. When it comes to household refuse, exclusively burying organic matter without pollutants like plastic is, all too often, impossible. Instead, all manner of different material simply goes into landfills.

Landfill, of course, is famously bad for the environment. But even if it were possible to sort and bury just organic matter, the process would still negatively impact the planet. First and foremost, that’s because burying any material at scale calls for large amounts of precious land in order to do so.

Furthermore, even organic matter can still leach dangerous chemicals and toxins into the ground. It’s something that’s particularly pertinent when it comes to funeral services and burying our loved ones.

It can be extremely hard to think about, particularly in terms of simply burying organic matter. Yet, the truth is that, during a burial, there are fluids involved that will eventually seep into the soil. Moreover, the world is also running out of burial spaces at an alarming rate.

What About Cremation?

Strictly in terms of saying goodbye to loved ones, cremation, then, seems like an ideal, more eco-friendly alternative to traditional burials. Sadly, that’s not the case. National Geographic reports that one cremation produces an average of over 530lbs of carbon dioxide. That equates to around 360,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions produced yearly in the U.S. alone from cremations.

Elsewhere, fumes from the cremation process also routinely include vaporized mercury from tooth fillings and other dental work. That’s in addition to toxic emissions from things like melted bone cement used during hip replacements and other common surgeries.

While an entirely valid alternative to burying organic matter as a part of a funeral service, cremating human remains is also becoming increasingly costly. The median adult funeral cost with a viewing and cremation in the U.S. is now at an all-time high. It’s a cost that continues to rise sharply as well, up from $6,970 in 2020 to $7,848 last year.

Alternatives to Burying Organic Matter

Fortunately, there are now alternatives to burying organic matter or cremating human remains and other materials almost across the board. Within manufacturing, industry, agriculture, and throughout any number of different sectors, eco-friendly approaches to protecting the environment are now more widespread than ever.

It’s a fact that’s especially true when it comes to funeral services. Make no mistake; it can be immensely difficult to think of saying goodbye to a loved one via a traditional funeral as simply burying organic matter. In many cases, the prospect of cremation can also be tough to come to terms with.

Either way, most traditional death care methods and those which continue to prevail in the overwhelming majority of instances are increasingly damaging to the environment. That’s why, now more so than ever, planet-focused funerals matter.

Choose Return Home Instead

At Return Home, we offer an eco-friendly solution in the shape of Terramation, also known as human composting. Return Home grants the most transparent and sustainable alternative to burial and cremation. Instead of burying organic matter or cremating a loved one’s remains, Terramation gently transforms them into life-giving soil.

Composting or Terramation is distinct from simply burying organic matter for many reasons. For example, at Return Home, our unique process uses considerably less energy than either traditional burial or cremation. At the same time, each family still has every opportunity to participate in rituals and memorialization for their loved ones.

Once the Terramation process is complete, life-giving soil is ready to Return Home or be scattered in our beautiful eight-acre woodland. Dedicated to the placement of Terramation remains, memories of loved ones live on as they revitalize local flora and continue the cycle of life.

Find Out More About Terramation Solutions

Return Home is a fully licensed funeral home run by experienced funeral professionals. We aim to empower individuals and their families in choosing to make the world a better, more eco-friendly place. Whether you’re in immediate need or simply exploring pre-planning, we’re here to offer guidance. With that, we’d love to hear from you. Please call or write to speak to a member of the Return Home team today.

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