Differences between the burial forms’ effect on the environment
There is a great difference between the burial forms effect on the environment, especially compared to the ecological burial.
The traditional casket burial effects the drainage-, ground- and drinking water as well as the ground itself and contributes to eutrophication and oxygen depletion of the seas. The main reason is the lack of oxygen on the depth a casket is buried which leads the body to root instead of convert to mulch. Large burial areas are required with high demands on preparation, drainage and sewage treatment. The consumption of energy is small and there is no effect on the air.
The energy consumption during a cremation is high, equivalent to 23 litres of fluid oil and half a kilograms of activated carbon for each cremation. The effect on the air is considerable. During the combustion flue gases, carbon dioxin- and dioxide which increases the green house effect, and also mercury in the form of gas. Studies estimate that 1/3 of the total mercury emissions in Sweden come from crematory.
Small land areas are used for the burial, but lakes and the sea are effected in the same negative way as for a casket burial since the ash is on its way to the sea already upon the first rainfall after burial.
The ecological burial is energy consuming as for the production of the liquid nitrogen. It is however not produced for this purpose since it´s a residue when producing oxygen. On the other hand there are no effects on the air, lakes and the sea or the drainage-, ground- and drinking water and the effect on the ground is positive since the remains are converted into mulch. Medium sized land areas are used with possibility to reuse old burial-ground. The demand for drainage and sewage treatment are low.