Today, climate change is a real threat to human civilisation. Many of us are making changes in our everyday lives to reduce our carbon footprint, except when it comes to death. At that point, when it is too late, our families are pressured into a Victorian-style funeral where human bodies are burned or buried. Because, fact, 95% of the UK population leave no pre-death instructions for the disposal of their bodies.
75% of the UK population are flame cremated. This is over 487,500 cremations annually. Which produces 150,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, above our very heads.
The global statistics are awesome. Every year, 550,000 people die in the UK alone. In the EU the figure is 5.1m. Globally, it is 56m. Roughly speaking, that is 90% of the population of UK. It is 153,424 people daily. 6,392 per hour. 106 per minute or 1.8 per second. Flame cremation is now widely practised around the world, except in the more undeveloped societies.
The typical cycle to incinerate a single body consumes 285kG of gas (equal to a 500-mile car trip) and 15 kWh of electricity energy.
55% of bodies are embalmed, mainly for the purpose of improving the appearance of the corpse, by preserving it during the laying-out procedure when relatives view it.
Besides formaldehyde, which is a potential human carcinogen, embalming materials may contain phenol, methanol and glycerine.
These chemicals create unacceptable toxic fumes all of which contribute to climate change.
They combine with the flue gases and form harmful carbon emissions containing carbon monoxide, fine soot, sulphur dioxide and heavy metals; 16% of UK’s mercury pollution (dental fillings) emanate from flame cremations.
A flame cremation has a carbon footprint of approximately 400kg of CO2 (potentially 150k tons into the air above us annually). Flame cremation is a direct contributor to poor air quality. We should stop polluting our earth by pumping unnecessary toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.