Green Funerals - With Death Comes Life

Burial

Posted on June 03, 2014 by Cindy Phan

We are all individuals and we are entitled to our own varying beliefs in this life. There are so many things we can believe in, and so many factors affecting our perception of life and death. With so many beliefs, however, there is one constant we could all agree upon, and that is physically, once we stop breathing, that is a death. When we die, traditionally our body will either be buried or cremated. These days, traditional burials use fancy, elaborate, metal caskets, while cremation uses up vast energy. With death comes an ending, and that seems so final. But what if we can bring new life even with our death? What if even when we die, life will come? What if from our remains, we give birth to plants and add to the natural green of the earth? We do not exactly turn to dust, but into a flower or a tree or a bed of grass and other various vegetation. With the modern trend of green funerals, all this is possible. We can give an opportunity for new plant lives with our death.

What is a green funeral?

A green funeral is a way of sending off our loved ones or ourselves in a manner that creates a minimal impact on the environment. This helps us reduce the amount of energy consumed and waste produced in the planet, helping or even bettering the environment which as a collective generation, we would leave to the youth and to the youth to come. In green funerals…

  • Preservation of the body by embalming can be replaced with dry ice or refrigeration

  • Caskets and urns can come from sustainable woods

  • Caskets can even be replaced with cardboard, wicker versions, or other natural materials as seen above

  • You may have the option to use an exopod. Ecopods are kayak-shaped caskets made from recycled newspapers and are completely biodegradable

  • There is the availability of green or natural burials grounds and cemeteries. These cemeteries have a low impact on the environment and some even conserve and restore land.  Some use flat stones or trees as grave markers and some natural cemeteries even offer burial plots marked with GPS.

There are around a dozen green cemeteries in the United States, and around 200 in Great Britain. You can find many of them and find businesses that support green funeral practices on the Green Burial Council's website. For more ways to have an eco-friendly funeral, read 5 Ways to Go Green at Your Funeral (and Save Money)

Why go for a green burial?

A variety of valuable benefits come from choosing a green burial. Not only do you eliminate the use of embalming fluids and all the non-biodegradable materials used in the construction of a traditional casket, you also aid the earth in its biological systems by leaving behind only energy. This energy will then facilitate new life such as vegetation.

Furthermore, opting for a green burial will likely mean you save a significant amount of money which you could choose to spend or disperse in other ways than paying for the setup of your own ending. The sustainable caskets you chose, for instance, may be made of wicker or cardboard, and may in fact cost much less than the casket of a traditional burial, which is often the most expensive part of funeral planning. Choosing to have funeral that creates as little impact on the environment not only helps the earth’s continuation, but may also help you save a sum of money, and allow you the opportunity to facilitate the life of plants and flowers even after death.