As we approach Earth Day, many of us may be focusing on ways to live green, but what about dying green? There are more options than ever for choosing a final resting that is connected to our values, lifestyles, and interests. The Green Burial Council has endorsed several natural and sustainable practices for a green funeral.
Suggested Read: Shooting Up To The Stars: Alternatives to Traditional Funerals
Here are some green funeral practices you should know about on Earth Day:
Cremation is the simplest procedure. Unfortunately, in order to reach high enough temperatures, fossil fuels are necessary. For a natural cremation, there are no chemicals in the embalming or in the casket. For Bio-cremation, water, pressure, heat, and lye cremate the remains. Bio-cremation is currently more costly than traditional cremation because it isn’t very common yet.
Embalming is not necessary for a safe and legal burial. This process often uses formaldehyde, a dangerous carcinogen. There are now healthier, natural options for preserving bodies for viewings or you can chose not to preserve it. Embalming is not necessary for proper burial. It is a cosmetic procedure.
Host A Home Funeral
Once a common practice in the United States, home funerals are making a comeback. Dry ice or ice keeps the body cold, there are no harsh chemicals, and no transportation is necessary. This process also allows for a significant connection among loved ones as well as a reduction in unnecessary procedures and is a good way to lead into a green burial.
Use All-Natural Products
Natural coffins are made with wicker or unprocessed wood that can break down and return to nature.
A popular alternative to traditional burials creates a new plant. A natural urn has all the materials that will grow into a tree or plant. You can pick a cutting of a particularly meaningful plant or use seeds of a new plant. It’s a particularly symbolic product as the ashes from death turn into a new life.
Urns materials can be completely natural. They’re created using sand, gourds, shells, or cornstarch. You can choose an urn designed degrade into the earth or water depending on where your resting place will be. These products return to the environment without leaching anything dangerous.
There are even green pet memorials so we can stay true to sustainable goals even with our furry friends.
Suggested Read: Mourning the Loss of a Pet with a Pet Funeral