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WHY GREEN BURIAL???
by Jason Manuge
A green burial is a beautiful alternative to traditional burial that involves no embalming and no traditional caskets. Any human-made changes (grave markers or leveling) added to the burial site are also discouraged.
The Green Burial Council offers environmental certificates for funeral homes and cemeteries and are a great resource for finding out more about green burials. We are noticing that more and more people are becoming interested in green burials too. They are a new way of caring for the dead with less environmental impact, and they are pointing the way forward in the industry.
Why do People Choose Green Burials?
Creating a final resting place that respects the earth in an ecologically sound manner is the goal of any green burial. People are gravitating toward them because they offer a chance to leave a legacy or lasting reminder that you cared about the planet, the people left on it, and the people still to come. To live – and then die – in harmony with nature is a worthy and noble pursuit that should be celebrated.
What Does a Green Burial Look Like?
Green burials aim to return bodies – as naturally as possible – back to the earth. There is no embalming, and the body is typically placed in a shroud or simple softwood casket and buried in a protected green space. Embalming of a body slows down the natural process of decomposition, and eventually introduces toxic chemicals into the groundwater.
Reducing the amount of energy used and resources consumed are two other benefits of green burials. The land cannot be used for any other purpose; it always remains a wild space for animals and plant life to thrive in. Natural burial grounds also only allow natural headstones. A person can choose a shrub or flat indigenous stone as a natural marker instead which can be mapped via GPS.
A natural burial is less expensive than a conventional burial and is likely to become more affordable as word spreads about the significant legacy building aspects of the option. People opting for green burials realize that there is no real monetary number you can put on protecting the environment.