As we become more environmentally aware we consider alternative options to take part in strengthening nature. When we consider more ecologically friendly practices that naturally contribute to the better impact of the environment. With the option of green burials, we can maximize a natural lifecycle.
What is a Green Burial?
Green Burials are a burial or cremation service that has a minimal environmental impact and is a more natural way to lay the body to rest. With the use of sustainable and non-toxic materials, it is possible to contribute positively to the environment. Using biodegradable caskets, shrouds and urns, eliminating concrete vaults and using rocks or plants as grave markers are all examples of the components to a green burial.
The body is a natural substance of the earth. It decomposes, breaks down into the soil and goes through the cycle of life being recycled. Instead of using a traditional casket or concrete vault the body is placed into either a willow, wicker, bamboo or cardboard coffin or a burial shroud. The coffin will be broken down along with the body, over time.
As green cemeteries fill up, over time the coffins and bodies will recycle into new earth and these land plots can be used again for gardens or parks.
How Green Burials Impact the Funeral
During the traditional embalmment process, there are fluids and chemicals used to slow the decomposing of the body down for viewing purposes. Although using eco-friendly embalmment fluids that have no formaldehyde, the body is able to break down into the soil with no harmful environmental impacts. If you prefer to have a cremation, it is wise to ask that all dental implants are removed and perhaps organs can be donated.
This changes the schedule of the funeral slightly as the viewing will have to take place as soon as possible once the embalmment is completed as the body will begin to decompose immediately. Another impact this may have on the traditional funeral service is placing any memorabilia in the coffin. All objects would have to be organic and able to break down naturally with the body and coffin.