Whether you are planning a funeral for a loved one or pre-planning for yourself, a green burial or eco-burial can be a wonderful way to give back to the earth. It’s a way of ensuring that the burial practice does no harm to the environment and is as natural as possible. This requires knowing what you can do in order to keep the funeral as green as possible.
Here are a few ways to ensure your eco-burial is as green as you wish it to be:
Use a Biodegradable Casket
Tens of thousands of tons of steel are used every year in caskets and vaults, not to mention millions of pieces of hardwood. Instead of using treated wood and metal, opt for an untreated casket of simple wood, so that it can return to the earth naturally. These are often provided by funeral homes upon request. Alternatively, you may prefer a cardboard or wicker casket, for faster decomposition. Some people prefer to simply be wrapped in a shroud before burial, forgoing even the coffin. However, you will want to use natural fabrics for this, as well.
Embalming is meant to preserve the body and is often used to keep the deceased in good condition for as long as possible. However, many feel that the embalming process, which uses toxic chemicals, is not necessary. In a non-vault burial, those chemicals will leach into the ground, which can be an environmental issue.
Instead, you may request that the body is preserved naturally, without toxic chemicals, and arrange for the funeral to be held sooner than if embalming was used. There are many ways to do this and an open casket for viewing is still possible.
Choose a Green Cemetery
There some cemeteries that have very strict requirements and others that allow for more relaxed burials. You should always check with the cemetery first to ensure that an eco-friendly burial is acceptable there. Ask about the specific type of burial you’re interested in, as some areas may not permit the use of a shroud only burial, for example.
If you want to have a green ceremony, be sure to include it in your will. Tell your loved ones about your desires, as they won’t know otherwise. You can also pre-plan your burial and funeral ceremony, leaving less for loved ones to worry about after your passing.
Are you interested in an eco-burial?
Normington & Sons Funeral Home offers eco-friendly services and burials. Contact us today to learn more about our options.