Reasons to Consider Green Burials
You might be inclined to think that there isn’t much people can do to make a funeral service better for the environment. But that is far from the truth. Most of what we consider to be “traditional” when it comes to funerals is bad for the environment. From energy using processes to harmful chemical contaminants, there are many ways to make a burial a green one.
Pros of Green Burials
1. They help to conserve green space. Most of the cemeteries today take up excessive land space. In addition, that land has to be stripped of vegetation and trees in order to make it suitable for modern burial practices. With the additional grounds maintenance required to keep grounds pristine, there is the growing potential for groundwater sources to become contaminated. All of these things can dramatically alter the local environment.
2. Green help with wildlife preservation efforts. When trees are removed, the animals that inhabit them are forced to move as well. Ecosystems are very delicate, and even the tiniest shifts in the balance of a system can have a dramatic impact. Green cemeteries in combination with green burial products help facilitate the restoration and preservation of land that keeps animals protected.
3. They lessen the consumption of valuable resources. At most funerals, the casket is placed in a concrete burial vault that lines the grave. These vaults weigh over a ton and require a significant amount of fuel and energy to manufacture and transport to the site of the burial. Concrete mixing, casting, and linings also require a lot of energy to produce. Green burials do not use vaults at all.
4. Green burials cost less. Perhaps the biggest advantage of selecting green burial options is a family’s ability to provide a more affordable funeral service for their loved one. While still dignified and loving tributes, a green burial can save families and those who pre-plan services anywhere from ,000 to ,000 or even more.
5. Carcinogenic chemicals are not used in green burials. Modern funerals have required the use of carcinogenic chemicals for preserving the body. Most of these embalming chemicals are made with a known carcinogenic element–formaldehyde. Preparation and sanitation of the body does not require the use of such harmful chemicals. In some cases, families are option not to go with embalming fluid at all, and in others more eco-friendly embalming fluids are being used.
About the Author
Funeralwise.com provides free, do-it-yourself funeral planning via its website. Thousands of people have used the Funeralwise.com online funeral planner since it launched in 2009. Funeralwise.com features extensive information on funeral-related subjects including funeral customs, funeral etiquette, and grief support. Visitors to the site can subscribe to its “Word to the Wise” series of free guides at http://www.funeralwise.com/free-guides.