Eco-Friendly Funeral Rituals Reduce Air Pollution and Emissions

Conventional cremation uses up a lot of wood, but there are some groups trying to change that.

1 min read

In the Nigambodh Ghat Crematorium, a new set of funeral pyres are being built. The pyres, designed by non-profit Mokshda, are expected to reduce the amount of wood needed to cremate a body. These more efficient systems could reduce cremation-related emissions.

Every year, more than 5 million people die in India, according to a government census. Most of these people get cremated, and around 50 to 60 million trees will be cut down for their pyres, Mokshda estimates.

Pyres with better ventilation systems burn faster and don’t require as much wood. Conventional pyres burn slowly and need more than twice as much wood.

Millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide could be saved if more people used green cremation pyres, Mokshda says. This can also contribute towards efforts at reducing air pollution in cities like Delhi.

Other forms of environment-friendly cremations have been more controversial. Electric cremations do not allow families to perform final rituals for their loved ones. But the Mokshda system is in open air and allows families to gather around the fire.

More than 60 Mokshda Green Cremation Systems have been set up around the country.

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