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Why are cremation numbers on the rise?

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) It's a tough choice that affects everyone. When you die, do you want to be cremated or buried?

Cremation is growing in popularity among Vermonters. In 2009, 30 percent of Vermonters were buried and 60 percent were cremated. Just eight years later, there were fewer burials and more cremations with 14 percent buried and 72 percent cremated.

Our Ike Bendavid talked to people who worked in the industry about the trend.

Michele Ready Ambrosino is a third-generation owner of the Ready Funeral Home in Burlington. They provide multiple options for families to meet their funeral needs.

"People feel strongly about cremation and burial," Ready Ambrosino said.

At her funeral home, Ready Ambrosino says they see the trend of more people choosing cremation but they still do a fair number of burials.

"Burial families are always going to be burial families," she said.

Even with the thousands of dollars that come with paying for it.

"You're talking plots and vaults and grave openings," Ready Ambrosino said. "That adds up."

But does it cost more than cremation? There are a lot of variables. Urns and caskets run the gamut when it comes to price. And if you chose cremation, burying an urn can almost be as expensive as burying a casket.

"If you do everything the same up to the final disposition, your numbers don't change that much," Ready Ambrosino said.

"It's gained every year," said Stephen Gregory of Stephen C. Gregory and Son Cremation Service.

In addition to price, Gregory points to environmental concerns about burials.

"Just about that whole cemetery-- the older ones-- are filled with cement vaults," Gregory said.

And almost anywhere can be a final resting place.

"A lot of people don't bury any more, they scatter," Gregory said.

We asked several people about their thoughts on cremation versus burial and no two answers were the same.

"Absolutely want to be cremated after I donate my organs," said Rozla Vallee of South Hero.

"Cremation, burning their whole body-- it seems a deviation from what we have done traditionally," said Andrew Quartey of Essex.

"That is something that I have not really thought about," said Chris Brown of South Burlington.

Back in Burlington, Ready Ambrosino says that no matter what happens, it's all about what you need as a family.

"People being able to say goodbye is the important part," she said. "What I think gets lost in the cremation piece is that cremation takes place and there is no closure for the family."

Another reason for the growing popularity of cremation-- families can take urns with them when they move rather than having to visit a burial site.