Cremation the greenest choice for funerals

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on February 22, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 22 at 7:48 PM

SEATTLE -- Cremation has become the preferred funeral option of the green crowd.

Environmental groups praise it as the least polluting, most ecological way to depart.

Naturally, this has led to a green sprint by the funeral industry. Companies like Smart Cremation in Redmond are offering extended green benefits such as carbon offsets and enhanced emissions controls for their process.

The National Funeral Directors Association estimates the current cremation rate in the U.S. is 38 percent, and predict that will grow to 51 percent by 2025.

At least part of that growth is attributed to environmental considerations, so the entire funeral industry is adjusting. You can now be buried without the chemical based embalming process, without a casket, in a plot covered with natural landscaping instead of manicured lawns.

If you do choose cremation, you can have your ashes molded into a artful vases or figurines, shot into space, or even injected into dyes used to create a memorial tattoo on a loved one.

Those who insist on the traditional funeral methods may find it all quite silly, but with so many people going this way, they may also find a little extra room down at the old cemetery when it's time to pick out a plot.

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