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Alternatives to Expensive Coffins

Planning a funeral can be highly overwhelming and expensive, especially in this day and age. However, knowing your options can ease some of this tension and even save you some time and money. One of the most common burial methods is through the use of a casket or coffin. Even the most simple coffins can leave a significant dent in your wallet. Coffins typically range anywhere from 2,000 to 12,000 dollars or more. The method of burial often depends on certain factors including things like religious or family preferences, but it is good to keep in mind that there are cheaper alternatives if you are on a budget. 


Another common alternative to a coffin or casket burial is cremation. During this process, the body is reduced to its basic elements by subjecting it to open flames and intense heat. Once this is complete, the remains are ground into fine ash that can then be stored or dispersed, depending on personal preference. This method offers more flexibility in a number of ways. If you decide to keep the ashes, you can use any container of your choice. This could be anything from a cardboard box to a fancy urn with personal engravings. Even high quality urns cost a lot less than coffins, ranging from an average of about 50 to 250 dollars. Some have even gone as far as to create custom jewelry that contains the ashes. You can use ashes in virtually anything including things like china sets or artwork. The cost of cremation itself can cost anywhere from 1,500 to 5,000 dollars. The cost is often dependent on what type of facility you go to, so it may be helpful to call your local cremation facility to get an idea of their rates specifically before determining what method best suits your budget.

Tree Burial

One of the most innovative concepts for burial in recent times has become known as the tree burial. Not only are coffins expensive, but they also take a surprising toll on the environment for a number of reasons. A tree burial encases your body in a biodegradable pod that eventually turns you into a tree. The egg-shaped pod contains nutrients for the soil that fertilize a sapling once it begins to break down. The encasing is designed to be broken down by the soil, which is then fertilized by the ashes. This is a modern approach to burial that helps bring new life out of death at a reasonable cost. Generally it costs anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 dollars for this burial method. If you are someone who is passionate about fighting climate change and wish to grow a tree out of your passing, then a tree burial may be the best method for you. Additionally, your family and loved ones will be able to take care of and watch your tree grow strong over the years with you in mind.


Another more eco-friendly burial solution is that of resomation, also known as alkaline hydrolysis. Under high pressure, decomposition is sped up using an alkali and water based solution. The end result is similar to that of cremation and your body is broken down to liquid and ashes. Many people who choose this burial method recycle the remains by pouring it into plants or nature because the water poses as an excellent fertilizer. However, you can also just dispose of the water if you are not keen on handling liquid remains. The total cost of this procedure is generally similar to that of cremation. 

Sea Burial

Being buried at sea is particularly common among navies, but can also be performed by citizens as well. This involves disposing the body into the sea from a ship alongside a ritual or ceremony. Much of the time, the body is wrapped in a blanket and thrown alongside the ship and into the sea to naturally decompose. Many of the people that choose this burial method do so for religious reasons. This method does not require the use of a casket, although it can be done with one if desired. You can save thousands of dollars this way and it is much more eco-friendly as well. 

Body Donation

If you care about the advancement of medical science, you could aid modern technology by donating your body for research purposes. One of the biggest reasons people choose to donate their bodies after death is because there is no financial burden left to families. In fact, many donation programs offer cremation free of charge to families once the body has fulfilled its intended purpose. Keep in mind that in most cases, a person must make arrangements prior to death to have their body donated. Even the power of attorney cannot make this decision on someone else’s behalf for obvious reasons. It is a good idea to research various donation programs to see what kinds of requirements must be fulfilled and to see if any free cremation opportunities are available.

Know Your Options

It is important to remember that you are not limited to the traditional casket burial upon death, especially if you are on a tight budget and don’t want to burden your family with your funeral. Casket burials are one of the most expensive methods for burial. Many researchers and modern scientists have opened new doors for cheaper, more eco-friendly options. Many of these new approaches are more ethical and offer new opportunities to better the world in terms of sustainability and education. Even if you are not too concerned about saving money, these methods are worth researching if you have no interest in a casket burial. 

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