What Is Cremation?


Cremation is an increasingly popular method of final disposition that involves reducing a body to its basic elements through the application of intense heat. As societies become more transient and environmentally conscious, cremation has become a preferred choice for many, offering a versatile and often more sustainable alternative to traditional burial methods. At Endswell Funeral Home, we provide green cremation services using low-emission technology and offset our impact by purchasing carbon credits, reflecting our commitment to environmental responsibility.


Cremation involves placing the body in a chamber, called a cremation retort, where it is exposed to controlled heat. This process reduces the body to bone fragments within a couple of hours. These fragments are then processed into a fine, sand-like consistency, commonly referred to as ashes or cremains. The entire process is carried out with respect and dignity, adhering to strict regulatory standards to ensure environmental safety.


1. Flexibility: Cremation allows families more time to plan memorial services and offers a variety of choices for the final disposition of the remains, including burial in a cremation garden, placement in a columbarium, or scattering in a meaningful location.

2. Cost-Effectiveness: Typically, cremation is less expensive than traditional burial, as it eliminates the need for a burial plot, casket, and other costly elements of a traditional funeral.

3. Environmental Concerns: Many people choose cremation over traditional burial to reduce their ecological footprint. Traditional burials often involve embalming chemicals, and non-biodegradable caskets, which can be harmful to the environment.

4. Space Efficiency: Cremation is considered a more space-efficient option, particularly in densely populated areas where cemetery space may be limited.


While cremation and burial are both viable options for final disposition, they differ significantly in practice and tradition. Traditional burial typically involves embalming, viewing, and burial in a cemetery, often accompanied by a grave marker. This method has deep cultural and religious roots in many societies. In contrast, cremation provides more flexibility regarding where and how loved ones are memorialized, which can be particularly appealing to those without strong traditional burial preferences.

Cremation can be part of a traditional funeral service, including a viewing or visitation before the body is cremated. This allows for traditional rituals and personal goodbyes, followed by cremation instead of ground burial.


At Endswell Funeral Home, we offer green cremation. We partner with a crematorium that uses advanced, low-emission cremation technology that minimizes environmental impact compared to traditional cremation methods. By investing in carbon credits, we offset the emissions produced during cremation, contributing to environmental projects that reduce greenhouse gases. This approach allows us to provide services that are not only respectful to the departed but also kinder to the planet.


Cremation offers a modern, flexible, and often more affordable alternative to traditional burial, accommodating the diverse needs of today’s families. For those conscious of their environmental impact, green cremation options like those provided by Endswell Funeral Home offer a way to honor loved ones without compromising on ecological values. As more people choose cremation for its practical and personal benefits, understanding its process and implications can help families make informed decisions that align with their values and needs.

The Cremation Process

Cremation is a method of final disposition that transforms the body back to ash or bone dust through exposure to controlled heat. The process starts with placing the body in a specialized cremation chamber, where it is exposed to temperatures sufficient to gradually reduce the body to bone fragments. This transformation typically occurs over two to three hours, resulting in what are commonly referred to as ashes. Once cooled, these remains are processed into a fine, granular consistency. The ashes are then returned to the family in and urn to be buried, scattered, or kept at home, offering a simple and dignified way to handle final arrangements.

There are many benefits to choosing green cremation and Endswell is excited to offer this service to our community. Continue reading to learn more about green cremation and feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

Green Cremation

Green cremation, also referred to as low-emission cremation, is a pioneering approach in the funeral industry, focused on sustainability and environmental responsibility. Utilizing the latest in crematory technology, green cremation facilities are equipped with energy-efficient cremators that significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. This process ensures a reduced environmental footprint compared to traditional cremation methods. Green cremation promotes the use of advanced filtration systems to limit the release of pollutants, making it a preferred choice for eco-conscious individuals.

Endswell offers Green Cremation in North Carolina as part of our commitment to environmentally-friendly funeral services. Our simple cremation package costs $3000 and includes everything the family needs. There are never any hidden fees. Endswell handles every aspect of the process and provides concierge funeral care.

How Cremation Works

Step 1:

End Of Life

Endswell ensures the safe and careful transportation of the body to our aquamation facility in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Step 2:


Endswell completes all paperwork, obtains authorization from the family, signs the death certificate, and coordinates with the crematorium.

Step 3:


The cremation chamber is heated and the body transforms into bone dust, which is placed in an urn.

Step 4:

Low Emission Cremation

Endswell purchases carbon credits to offset the environmental impact of cremation. Additionally, our crematorium uses the newest technology to capture emissions.

Step 5:

Delivery Of Urn

The ashes are placed into an eco-friendly bamboo urn or an urn made by a local artist and returned to the family.

Why Choose Cremation?

Simple & Convenient

Cremation is easier to coordinate than a funeral. It is also more affordable. Endswell handles every aspect of the process.


Endswell’s cremation service costs $3000 and includes transportation, cremation, paperwork, death certificates, and the return of remains in an eco-friendly urn.

Environmentally Friendly

Our crematorium uses the newest technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and Endswell purchases carbon credits to further mitigate the environmental impact.

Honoring Life

Endswell is committed to honoring the families and individuals it serves with dignity, respect, and remembrance.

Cremation FAQs

What is cremation?

Cremation is a method of final disposition where the body is heated in a crematorium, reducing it to bone fragments. This process is performed in a specially designed cremation chamber. During cremation, the heat helps to break down the body quickly and efficiently.

Once the cremation process is complete, which typically takes about two to three hours, the remaining bone fragments are allowed to cool. These are then processed into a fine, powdery substance commonly referred to as ashes, though scientifically they are primarily bone minerals.

The resulting ashes are placed in a container or urn and returned to the family or loved ones. Cremation is chosen for various reasons, including cultural preferences, environmental considerations, economic factors, or a desire for a more simple and flexible funeral arrangement. It allows families the freedom to decide how and where to honor the memory of the deceased, be it through scattering the ashes in a meaningful location, placing them in a columbarium, or keeping them at home. This method offers a way to memorialize loved ones in a personal and respectful manner while often being more cost-effective than traditional burial methods.

Why should I choose cremation?

Cremation offers several benefits that make it an appealing choice for many individuals and families:

  1. Flexibility: Cremation provides flexibility in planning and personalizing memorial services. There is no immediate need for a burial, allowing families to schedule services at a time and place that best suits their needs. This can include holding a traditional service with the ashes present or a more unique celebration of life at a later date.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Generally, cremation is less expensive than traditional burial because it avoids the costs associated with caskets, burial plots, and headstones. For families concerned with budget, cremation can be a more economical option.
  3. Environmental Considerations: For those concerned with their ecological footprint, cremation may seem more sustainable than traditional burial methods, which often involve embalming chemicals, and the use of non-biodegradable materials. However, it’s important to note that cremation does have an environmental impact due to energy consumption and emissions.
  4. Portability of Remains: Cremation allows for the ashes to be kept, divided among family, or scattered in various locations that may have been significant to the deceased. This can provide a personal touch and a way to keep the memory of a loved one close in various meaningful ways.
  5. Simpler Logistics: The process of cremation is relatively quick and simple, which can reduce the logistical and emotional burden on grieving families. It eliminates the need for immediate, costly decisions about burial plots and grave markers.
  6. Cultural and Religious Practices: For some religions and cultures, cremation is preferred or even required, aligning with spiritual beliefs and practices.

Choosing cremation is a personal decision influenced by many factors including personal values, financial considerations, and family traditions. It provides a way to honor a loved one in a manner that can be tailored to their wishes and the needs of those they leave behind.

What are the benefits of cremation?

Cremation offers a range of benefits that make it a preferred choice for many, blending practical considerations with personal and emotional factors:

  1. Cost-Effectiveness: Cremation generally costs significantly less than traditional burial. This cost difference is due to the absence of requirements for a burial plot, casket, and headstone, which can be among the most expensive aspects of funeral services. Additionally, cremation can reduce the need for various funeral home services, such as embalming and extensive visitation hours.
  2. Flexibility in Memorial Services: One of the key advantages of cremation is the flexibility it offers in planning and timing memorial services. Without the immediate constraints of burial, families have the opportunity to schedule memorials at a time that accommodates all who wish to participate, potentially waiting weeks or even months if necessary. This can be particularly beneficial for relatives who need to travel long distances.
  3. Environmental Considerations: Cremation is seen by some as a greener alternative to traditional burial. Traditional burials often involve embalming fluids, which contain chemicals like formaldehyde, and the use of metal or hardwood caskets and concrete vaults that do not decompose. Cremation eliminates the need for these materials and can also result in a smaller ecological footprint, although it does require energy and produces emissions.
  4. Simplifies the Process: The process of cremation is straightforward and quick, taking only a few hours to complete, which can alleviate some logistical pressures from the grieving family. This simplicity can make the overall process of handling a loved one’s final arrangements less burdensome.
  5. Portability of Remains: Cremated remains can be easily transported and can be kept in multiple forms and places, according to family wishes. This allows for diverse memorialization options, such as placing ashes in multiple urns distributed among family, incorporating ashes into jewelry, or scattering them in a place meaningful to the deceased.
  6. Space Saving: Cremation can help alleviate the issue of cemetery overcrowding. It also allows for alternative remembrance options like placement in a columbarium, which requires much less space than a burial plot.
  7. Long-term Flexibility: Cremation provides families with ongoing options for memorialization. Ashes can be kept in an urn at home, interred in a family plot, scattered in a favorite location, or even turned into commemorative objects. This flexibility can be comforting to families, as it allows them to feel close to their loved ones and honor their memory in a personal and evolving way.

These benefits highlight why cremation can be a thoughtful, economical, and environmentally considerate choice, aligning with the needs and values of many modern families.

What are the environmental impacts of cremation?

Cremation, while often considered a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional burial, does have several environmental impacts:

  1. Energy Consumption: Cremation requires a significant amount of energy. The process involves heating a cremation chamber to high temperatures (between 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit) for two to three hours, which typically uses natural gas or electricity. This energy use contributes to the overall environmental footprint of cremation.
  2. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The high temperatures needed for cremation lead to the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, if the deceased had been treated with chemicals, such as in chemotherapy or with certain medications, these can also be emitted during cremation.
  3. Airborne Pollutants: Along with CO2, the cremation process can emit other pollutants, including mercury, particularly from dental amalgam fillings. These emissions can contribute to air pollution and have potential health impacts on the environment.
  4. Resource Use: Although less resource-intensive than traditional burials, which involve embalming fluids, metal caskets, and concrete vaults, cremation does involve the use of resources like the construction materials for the chamber and the urns in which ashes are stored.

Despite these impacts, many choose cremation due to its reduced land use compared to traditional burials and the absence of embalming chemicals.

Endswell works with a crematorium that uses the newest technology to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. We also purchase carbon credits to further reduce the environmental impact.

People are familiar with cremation and it is a popular choice for many families. For those looking for the most environmentally-friendly option, our aquamation service may be a better choice. This method significantly reduces energy use and nearly eliminates emissions, presenting a greener alternative to conventional cremation methods.

What does cremation cost?

Endswell offers one simple cremation service for $3,000 that includes local transportation, cremation, death certificates, concierge funeral care, and the return of remains in an eco-friendly urn. There are no other hidden fees or costs. Contact Us for more information or call Endswell at 919.907.9777.

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