The CIA World Factbook sums 107 deaths per minute worldwide. A person in a traditional coffin will probably take six feet in length and four feet wide of land space. Since lots cannot be next to each other, they’ll take more area for the cemetery.
Burying those who already passed is expensive in terms of land allocation. The Woodlawn Cemetery in New York covers more than 400 acres of land to accommodate just 300,000 resting people. In due time, the cemeteries be filled up and the next land should be sacrificed for the dead.
Will we ran out of land?
With Earth’s 149 million km2 of land surface, there’s obviously enough room for the living and the dead. But as much as we wanted to respect those who passed away, the living could use the finite space as valuable resource to actually live.
We demand living space. The average size of homes in the US is 2,438 ft2, according to the survey of the National Association of Home Builders. We also need more land for the community’s social needs – schools, cathedrals, parks, factories, roads, famine and the list never ends. And since nobody would want to live in a village or plant their crops that’s been a cemetery before, the land of the dead is of little use to the living and thus, uneconomical.
The simple option to resolve the conflict of interest is cremating our loved ones. This method is increasingly popular with 40% rate in the US. Interestingly, Japan, with just 377,900 km2 land area, cremates 99.85% of their dead. The Japanese graveyards are also tight in space, which is practical given their limited land area.
Cremation saves resources for the living. Urns require less space than coffins. Some families even prefer to keep the remains and place the ornamented urn inside the house. And some will opt to release the ashes back to the environment. The average cost of a traditional funeral is $6,560, while the cremation service through a funeral home is ranging from $2,000 to $4,000. The cremation process alone, should anyone decided to skip a funeral, could be as low as $700 to $1,000. This gives more money and land to utilize for the living’s benefit.
While living, people may already have planned their resting ground. They may have already bought a lot in the cemetery or have requested their family on how they wanted to be rested in peace. Earth can handle either burying or cremation, for now.
Would you like to be cremated or buried six feet under ground?