Whether you choose traditional burial or cremation, these funeral practices are not good for the environment. So, in order to save the environment there is an alternative option also. It is known as eco-friendly burial which is gaining popularity all over the world.
According to a report published in the New York Times, after death some 70 percent people are buried in traditional caskets. This means more trees are cut down to make caskets. Also the embalming fluid containing harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, methanol, ethanol and other solvents are not good for the environment. In short be it burial or cremation, these funeral practices are harmful to the environment including land, water and air.
Eco friendly burial options are often less expensive, use less energy and create less waste than traditional burials. In case of natural burial, you can use biodegradable shrouds, wicker caskets, and plant-based embalming fluids. In the US, there are many states where you can find approved green funeral providers and cemeteries certified by the non-profit Green Burial Council (GBC).
For eco-friendly burial you can choose Biodegradable Urns, Ecopod and Biodegradable Caskets. If burial at sea is what you want, then you can choose biodegradable urns. Such urns are handmade with paper. First they float in the water for some time and then gracefully sink. Once inside the water, it will break down in a natural manner. On the other hand ecopod is a kind of coffin made from compressed newspaper. The weight of such coffins is around 30lbs and is suitable for a person up to about 253lbs and up to 6ft tall. There is a webbing cradle which makes it easy for transportation.
Ecopod is ideal for a natural burial or clean cremation. For both burial and cremation, you can use eco-friendly or green caskets which are biodegradable in nature. Such caskets are made of natural elements which make them suitable for the overall environment. In the market you can find green caskets made of cardboard, bamboo, willow and sea grass.
Another unique option for eco-friendly burial is the ‘Eternal Reefs’. This Georgia based organization offers burial services for both humans and pets in several coral reef locations. Here the ashes of a person are integrated into a molded, concrete structure that is used to build up the coral life ecosystem.
Poetree is another beautiful concept related to eco-friendly burial. Here the ashes of the deceased are put in a pot or a container that later on houses a living tree. In the pot the name of the deceased is engraved making it a modest and living headstone. Once the tree is big enough, the entire pot and tree are planted in a garden or a park.
Another option that is getting popular in the funeral industry is the bio-cremation. This is a kind of cremation where instead to fire, water mixed with an alkali solution of potassium hydroxide (KOH) is used to reduce the body to bones. The whole process of bio cremation gives stress on the natural decomposition of the body through the use of water and an alkali solution where a balanced form of pressure, water and chemicals are used.
Also in the US, you can find various cemeteries offering eco friendly burial options. Some examples of such cemeteries are Greensprings Natural Cemetery in Newfield, New York; Fernwood Funeral Home and Cemetery in Mill Valley, California and so on. Here in such green cemeteries no toxic embalming fluid, no vault and only biodegradable caskets or shrouds for burial are used. Natural elements such as rocks, stones, trees, shrubs and wildflowers mark the grave.
To conclude, with the use of eco-friendly burial options you can make huge contribution towards the planet and make the funeral service meaningful for the survivors.