A green funeral is an alternative to the traditional funeral ceremony where natural materials are used. It is also more cost effective as compared to a traditional funeral ceremony. In the last few years the concept of green funeral is getting popular as people want to celebrate the life of the deceased rather than organizing a funeral service that mostly focus on grief. Mostly a green funeral is followed by a green burial, but if someone wants cremation can also be carried out.
The reasons behind the popularity of choosing green funeral over a traditional funeral service are many.
Some of the main reasons are:
Good for Environment:
As far as green funeral is concerned, you need to use biodegradable products only which are good for the environment. The coffins to keep the body of the deceased are made from biodegradable products such as cardboard, paper, sea grass, wicker or bamboo. These biodegradable coffins are beautiful to look at just like the regular hardwood coffins. For making hardwood coffins trees are cut down to get the woods. If trees are cut down at this rapid speed there will be great harm in the environment and there will be no natural habitat left for the wildlife. But with green funeral held in green cemetery people can make small contributions towards safeguarding the environment.
Also coffins made from biodegradable elements will require less time to decompose when the body of the deceased is buried under the ground. Also during cremation it will require far less energy to burn as compared to a hardwood coffin.
In the multicultural and secular society, it is the green funeral that can cater to the needs of people belonging to difference religions or following any special customs. A green funeral can be easily planned to reflect the preferences of the deceased. Here there is nothing like you need to follow a particular custom or belief. Only the wishes of the deceased or close family members matter the most.
During green funeral, donations, instead of flowers are accepted. The donation amount is usually given to a charity helping to defend the environment. Also many people ask the people attending the funeral to plant a tree in the name of the deceased.
For planning a traditional funeral service you need to spend a lot of money. In fact the commercial funeral industry makes the process of planning a funeral an expensive deal. The commercial funeral industry takes advantage of innocent people by charging high fees for funeral products and services.
However, a green funeral is significantly quite cheaper as compared to any traditional funeral service. While a traditional funeral can cost around $6,000 to $10,000, the overall cost of a green funeral will be something around $2,000 to $3,000 only. If you wish you can plan a green funeral on your own. The cost can be too less if you wish to do the green burial on your own land.
Safe for living people:
During green funeral, no chemicals are used and thus it is a safe process. But in a traditional funeral formaldehyde which is used in embalming is not good for those exposed to this harmful chemical. According to a research done by the National Cancer Institute it has been found that embalmers and anatomists, who are exposed to this harmful chemical, are at a higher risk of suffering from leukemia and brain cancer. Also when formaldehyde comes in contact with land and water it pollutes them.
To get help for planning a green funeral you can contact groups like the Green Burial Council along with GreenBurials.org, and the Funeral Consumers Alliance. These groups will be more than happy to assist you. The Green Burial Council has also certified a few green funeral homes and cemeteries to meet the growing demands of the people.
To sum up, green funeral is a small step towards preserving and protecting the earth for future generations. A growing number of people have realized the benefits of a green funeral and are opting for it. Even though the concept is new in the USA and there are few green cemeteries only, it is believed that things will change immensely in the coming years.
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