Biodegradable Burials for the Eco-Friendly People

People choose to live environmentally friendly or green lives, so it is not surprising that they also select an environmentally friendly or green funeral. An eco-friendly funeral can be the deceased’s choice, or the next of kin can take their initiative. A green burial ensures that the body decomposes naturally and entirely and becomes one with nature. This is in line with the adage “ashes to ashes and dust to dust.” Some people may see it as a new-age fad, but it is a return to ancient practices that our ancestors practiced.

If you want to plan an eco-friendly or green funeral, you should look for a funeral home that offers green burials as part of its services. They may be specialists, or a green funeral may be one of several services they offer. There are several green funeral homes around the country. They provide complete services as well as a funeral in the woods. This means that no particular place is designated as a burial site. Instead, the body is buried in a natural setting, with local trees and green vegetation surrounding it.

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An eco-friendly or green burial turns out to be much cheaper compared to the now traditional funerals. One of the first aspects of a green burial is that the body is not embalmed. This ensures that no toxic chemicals used during the embalming process end up in the sewer system. The next step is to choose a wood-only or cardboard casket that will completely decompose over time. The eco-friendly coffins have no metal parts. Some families may also decide to bury the body without a casket, using only a shroud to cover the body. The next step would be to avoid a burial vault, so the casket and its contents decompose naturally with time.

Burial in a forest is an entirely environmentally friendly or green burial. Usually, a small tree is planted to mark the hand-dug grave, slowly taken over by the natural vegetation around it. You can opt for a simple headstone if you wish.

If you are looking for a more environmentally friendly method of managing your remains after death, consider the following five alternatives:

Bios Urn: Biodegradable funeral urns are cremation urns for storing ashes designed to decompose over several weeks, once buried in the ground. How long it takes for the average biodegradable urn to decompose depends on the soil’s richness and quality. Buried in good quality soil, a biodegradable cremation urn can decompose in as little as three weeks, with the ashes of the deceased mixing with the soil in which the urn is buried.

Alkaline hydrolysis: This procedure may seem a bit industrialized and consequently harmful to the environment, but in reality, it is probably the most environmentally friendly way of handling human remains ever developed. A person’s remains are immersed in a tank of chemicals that quickly break down the tissue and turn the bone tissue into a mealy compound.

Corpse-eating mushrooms: Fungus grows on decaying organic material, making it a perfect solution to eliminate humans naturally.

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Green burials: Conventional burial is not necessarily harmful to the natural environment. It is just the additions we have created, such as complex embalming procedures and “secure” burial containers. By choosing a more naturally biodegradable casket and demanding that funeral directors not embalm but use other options, you can still have a “traditional” funeral without making it bad for the environment.

Donate to science: Whether it is for use by a school of medicine or even for observation at a human body farm, donating someone’s body to scientific research is not only environmentally friendly.

Living in an environmentally friendly way means taking into account the environmental impact of how we handle dying.

The Sustainable Beauty of A Green Burial

There are many people to whom their impact on the environment is a great concern, and they wish to pass on the same way they lived, in respecting and minimizing their carbon footprints. That is the reason behind the growing popularity of eco-friendly ‘green’ burials.

If you haven’t considered the environmental impact of a traditional burial before, these facts may cause you to re-evaluate. Traditional burials often involve using toxic embalming fluids that leach into the earth over time and non-degradable grave liners to keep grave sites looking flat — techniques that are good for preserving a body (sometimes indefinitely) but terrible for the environment. Even cremations release harmful emissions like carbon monoxide and mercury into the air and soil.

How A Green Burial Solves All These Issues

The main idea behind a green burial, as you might have guessed, is to lessen your environmental impact and reduce your carbon footprint. There are many people who view this method as a return to the way people were buried before the death care industry evolved into what it is today. For others, natural burials are actually prescribed by religious law, for instance those of Jewish or Muslim faith.

There are three core concepts behind any green burial – conservation of resources, conservation of the environment and sustainability.

Conservation of Resources

This is achieved through using sustainably produced materials from renewable sources for caskets. These range from biodegradable linen to untreated wood. Conventional caskets, on the other hand, are often made from treated wood or metal, which is not sustainable.

Conservation of Nature

Green caskets and shrouds are made from materials that decompose easily, with minimal impact of the surrounding soil, water and air. Any emissions that may be produced are carbon-neutral, so the impact is negligible. In contrast, commercially produced caskets can take ages to break down, even more so if they contain metal parts like hinges or handles. Also, these types of caskets are often treated with chemicals like paint and veneers, which seep into the soil as the casket breaks down. Also, the manufacturing and transport of conventional caskets and outer burial containers requires a huge amount of energy and causes significant carbon emissions.

Another point to consider is the actual burial ground. Conventional cemeteries often use herbicides to maintain the grass, which can be absorbed into the earth; outer burial containers, which impede the decomposition of the body and take an extremely long time to decompose; and allow embalmed bodies to be buried, which results in formaldehyde and other embalming chemicals to enter the earth.

Green cemeteries require that every effort is made to maintain the natural habitat of the environment, including maintaining clean groundwater, preserving the natural landscape, and providing an environment for native plants and animals to thrive. This is why you won’t ever see elaborate grave markers in a green cemetery. At most, you may find a tree or a flat stone with engraving. However, that’s not to say you won’t be able to find the grave of your loved ones again if you choose to visit the grave site. Most green cemeteries provide GPS coordinates that you can use to find your way back.

In Conclusion

By taking advantage of green funeral options, individuals planning ahead—and their families—can find comfort in knowing their passing will not negatively impact our environment. Many people also take refuge in the fact that their green burial will allow them to become one with nature. Those who have lived well take pride knowing they have also died well. Green funeral options may offer solace to those who wish to minimize their environmental footprint in death as they did in life.

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