If you knew that we bury enough metal in caskets in the ground each year to rebuild the Golden Gate Bridge, and put enough reinforced concrete vaults to build a two-lane highway from New York to Detroit, would you do it? What kind of environmental impact is this having on our earth?
Modern cemeteries destroy the environment. We can choose another way.
However, in-ground burial with a headstone is such a strong tradition in the United States that the move to green burial will likely be slow. While there has been an increasing interest in different and more natural burial practices, the majority of people still opt for a traditional burial or cremation. Many choose cremation as an alternative method, primarily for the lower cost.
If we choose a green burial -- there are an increasing number of funeral homes throughout the US that are offering this option -- we can die with minimal environmental impact, conserve natural resources, reduce carbon emissions, protect worker health, and restore and/or preserve habitat. In a green burial, formaldehyde is not used to preserve the body.
Most funeral homes that perform green funerals use nontoxic preservatives and bury the body in a shroud, or in a casket made from natural materials. This allows the body to biodegrade free of chemical or synthetic materials.
Green burial is good for the earth. The less harmful chemicals from embalming and metal or treated hardwoods used in most coffins and concrete that we put in the ground the better.
The Ultimate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies: Before & After the Funeral lists green cemeteries and provides details about green alternatives that are available when preparing for your celebration of life details.
We are a society that cares about green living, green cars, green buildings and more. It's time we care about a green celebration of life experience.