In one year we will bury 90, 272 tons of steel, a nonrenewable resource, in the form of caskets each year. (green burial stats) Other precious metals including copper, brass, even gold ends up in the ground as well. Why are all these precious resources going into the ground? Is it because we have a need to show our wealth, or our love for the person we have lost? Is it because the price presented to us is a medium price on the price list? Do we long for a little color or flash, like I did for my mother-in-law? I suspect most of us are not thinking about resources at the time we are planning the funeral of a loved one. I think those who choose this option do so for price or because they assume the body will be more protected or preserved in a metal coffin. I suspect those who choose more precious metals are thinking of the coffin as a casket, or a treasure box. The amount of money spent on our beloved at the time of death in no way reflects the amount of love we have in our hearts. I do not judge. Many of us do not think things through when we are in the midst of grief.
Metal caskets will not preserve the body of our loved one. Metal will rust, even in a vault. Embalming won’t preserve a body indefinitely. A funeral home cannot claim that embalming will preserve a body for more that five days. In some cases, a body will be preserved longer, but no one can make that claim legally. Metal sealing caskets won’t stop, and may even speed up the process of decomposition – especially a sealer casket. Metal will not keep out the elements as metal rusts and falls apart. Just think for a moment what might happen to a body hermetically sealed into a metal box, and add the process of decomposition. Take my advice, and move on to a more natural material.
Let us look to the construction of the casket itself. View this video at 3:13. Pay attention to the bottom of the casket. The video narrator wants you to notice how they are reinforcing the casket and not the grooves. Check the image of a platter I received at my wedding. You might notice a certain similarity. The casket company knows that the body will decompose Look at the evidence in the construction of these coffins. The companies make them knowing the body will decompose. Do not believe anyone who tells you anything will preserve the body for any length of time. In my opinion, metal caskets are not the best option for burial. We have the right, by federal law, to purchase coffins, or shrouds anywhere we choose and not be penalized at the funeral home. Check the Midwest Green Burial Society Resource page to check out some of your options.