The Sustainability Crisis of Deathstyles

A Specific Look at Ontario


  • Adan Amer McMaster University



This paper will focus on the sustainability crisis in the funeral industry, with a particular look at conventional forms of funeral style like burial and cremation. Burials and cremations pose a threat to land scarcity and natural resource pollution. This is especially the case for Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, BC. In response to these crises, newer "sustainable" deathstyles have arisen, but they do not come without their own risks. This paper assesses the risks of conventional forms of funeral styles alongside their sustainable counterparts and their inclusion in the current regulatory policies of Ontario. A third section will focus on the social and cultural barriers that resist the just transitions to unconventional deathstyles. The final section includes recommendations to expand current legislation to accommodate the newer forms of disposal and minimize their associated risks, as well as additional consumer rights procedures to address the social barriers that impede the adoption of these alternatives.