Cremation causes the release of greenhouse gases through the use of natural gas (a non-renewable fossil fuel) in the cremation process. It may also result in the release of mercury into the atmosphere (from dental amalgam fillings), dioxins, and other harmful products.

Cremation is less environmentally impactful than conventional burial (with chemical embalming, a concrete, plastic or fiberglass vault, a non-renewable material casket, in a conventionally landscaped cemetery), however it is not as green as natural burial.

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