Green Burials and the Eco-Friendly Afterlife

Posted on by Ink Well Mag

HeadstonesAs part of the effort to protect the Earth, people are coming up with eco-friendly alternatives to long-standing practices and activities. This kind of mindset, for example, is influencing how cities are built and how people take transportation to work.

One of the more interesting ways to preserve the environment is through a green burial, and some funeral homes in Clearfield are already offering this kind of service, in fact. It’s an eco-friendly substitute for traditional burials.

The Adverse Effects of Traditional Burials, Embalming, and Cremation

The National Geographic reported that traditional funerals in America use 30 million feet of wood every year. A further million tons of concrete and almost 100,000 tons of steel is used for burial vaults.

The process of embalming, meanwhile, can be harmful to our environment too since we use up hundreds of thousands of embalming fluids annually. It is usually a mixture of formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, methanol, and other solvents. All that and more gets put into the ground and contaminates the soil.

Cremation produces different environmentally-harmful substances. The incineration process usually emits dioxin, sulfur dioxide, hydrochloric acid, and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is particularly harmful to our ozone layer and is one of the main factors behind climate change.

Green Burials are an Eco-Friendly Alternative

To curb the environmental impact of burials, some funeral homes are now offering “green burials.” Unlike traditional burials, green burials use non-toxic and naturally derived embalming liquids to minimize ground pollution later on.

Eco-friendly burial enclosures are also available with recyclable caskets or biodegradable wicker instead of a steel coffin or conventional wood. In place of a traditional headstone, people can also choose to plant a tree over the grave. This makes burial sites blend in better with the surrounding nature.

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A green burial is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional burials. It is a natural way of saying goodbye to our loved ones and leaving one’s mark in the world — but not in a way that negatively affects our environment.