Let’s Talk About Caskets, Coffins and More – A Primer to Funerals for the Modern Man

Truth be told, funeral services don’t make an excellent topic in any conversation. Unless you’re a funeral director, the chance of speaking about death, funerals, and everything related isn’t something we enjoy talking about.

But once in a while, we’re faced with the reality of death. In that circumstance, there are a few things we need to know. Should you take a closer look at the topic, you’ll notice that one of the aspects you need to consider is whether you’ll make a choice between a casket, a container, or a coffin. Confused enough? For instance, nobody can be cremated, entombed, or buried unless the body is placed in a container or a casket.

Is it a coffin or a casket? Are there any differences between the two?

Many people use the term interchangeably, but the caskets and coffins aren’t the same things. A coffin has eight sides, and it’s made of wood nine times out of ten. People in Europe are mostly using coffins, but not so much in the United States.

On the other hand, the casket has six sides, and it’s made from various materials. Soft and hardwood, stainless steel, or iron are used for making caskets that also feature felt cloth covering. The prices for caskets range from $500 to even $10,000.

The materials used for the casket, type of lining, finishes, and details are going to affect the final price of a casket. Nowadays, you no longer need to buy from a funeral provider, as there are so many online sellers as well. Additionally, the variety of caskets you can select online is impressive, so it’s practically impossible not to find one that fits your preference and needs.

Caskets are used for burials in a mausoleum, and people are still going to traditional funerals. Even if green burials and cremation are slowly gaining popularity, there’s something about caskets and traditional funerals that appeal to people. On some level, caskets protect the deceased’s body, which is comforting for the mourners.

Do you need a casket for cremation?

It’s not an easy answer, as it depends a lot on what type of funeral services are chosen: with or without funeral service prior to cremation.

Cremation with funeral service

If the deceased will be viewed before the cremation, a cremation casket will be needed too. You can rent it from the funeral home or buy one. A casket of this kind will come with a hardwood shell for the outer part, whereas the inner cremation insert is made with particle wood.

With modern men interested in how things work, we should note that the foot panel of the cremation casket is unhooked after the service, whereas the cremation insert will be removed. The lid will be placed onto the cremation container insert, and the body will be taken to the crematorium.

Maple and solid oak are probably the most common choices for cremation caskets.

Cremation without funeral service

When there is no visiting or services before the cremation, people will select a cremation container. It’s a basic particle board box, without any fabric lining nor pillow. For big guys (over 250pounds), an alternative cremation container will be required. When the body is cremated, it has to lie on a rigid and combustible bottom. It’s also easier for transferring the body from the funeral home to the crematorium.

Is it a good idea to buy a casket?

As we’ve mentioned, nobody likes thinking about death or funeral, but we need to face the music and admit that nobody lives forever. If your mind is set on cremation or burial, it’s not a bad idea to buy the casket/cremation a long time before it’s time. Look for the programs that allow you also to prepay for the funeral services.

There are funeral homes that guarantee future spending of the products you’ve chosen, and you should look into the best options for your budget.

With the funeral market so generous today, it’s impossible not to find options that match your values and budget the best way. Whether it’s a traditional funeral, green burial, or cremation you’re selecting, it’s up to you to get the bits and bobs about it. The more information you collect, the more comfortable and more informed your decision is going to be.

Conventional burial, natural burial, or cremation? Which is less harmful to the environment?

Many modern men think that cremation is a lot less harmful to the environment than traditional burials. Little that people know is that cremations are highly polluting, releasing more than 350lbs or CO2 into the atmosphere. There are numerous pollutants generated by the heavy metals, the dioxins caused by veneers and finishes, with carbon monoxide and mercury the most significant to name. An Australian study revealed that cremations are only 10% greener than burials, but it’s mainly because of maintenance that gravesites require.

In the case of traditional burials, anaerobic (with no oxygen) decomposition of the body will generate methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas. It would depend a lot if the body was embalmed or not, with embalmed bodies leaching harmful formaldehyde into the ground.

The typical burial will always lead to CO2 emission due to the regular maintenance of the site, such as herbicide use, but also watering and mowing.

There are fewer problems with natural burials, which stand out as the most sustainable method. With the body being buried at shallow depth, with no preservatives and in biodegradable materials (it can still be a wooden casket), there’s more space for aerobic and microbial activity with oxygen decomposition. Natural burial also restores the trees and natural vegetation, whereas carbon dioxide is collected, and nutrients go back to the lifecycle.

In the end, it’s a personal decision, and you should take time before deciding. But modern men care about what happens to their body after death, so choose wisely.

This content is brought to you by Alex Pintilie.

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

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