You are currently viewing What is a Green Funeral? | Exploring the Options

What is a Green Funeral? | Exploring the Options

The growing awareness of the effects our decisions, even those related to our final farewells, have on the environment has been observed in recent years. Conventional funeral practices frequently use a lot of materials and chemicals, which increase pollution and deforestation. As a result, there is more demand in “green” funerals, which place an emphasis on environmental friendliness and sustainability. We’ll go over the idea of “green funerals,” their advantages, available options, and how they’re changing our perception of deathcare.

Understanding Green Funerals

What is a green funeral?

An environmentally friendly (green) funeral is a viable substitute for traditional funeral practices. It places special emphasis on minimizing the effects of cremation and burial on the environment. This is accomplished in a number of ways, including the use of biodegradable materials, a refusal to embalm, selection of green burial that encourages natural decomposition, and alternative disposition options like aquamation and Terramation.

Why Choose a Green Funeral Service?

Environmental Issues

People’s desire to reduce the environmental impact of their end-of-life arrangements is one of the key reasons they choose green funerals. Land contamination is exacerbated by the use of non-biodegradable burial containers, such as concrete vaults and metal caskets, which can take centuries to decompose.

Preservation of Natural Resources

Preserving natural resources is another goal of green funerals. People can contribute to lowering the demand for resources needed for cremation and burial such as fossil fuels, wood and metal by choosing a green funeral option like natural burial, aquamation or Terramation.

Natural Beauty and Simplicity

Green funerals appeal to a lot of people because they provide a more straightforward and organic approach to say farewell. For example, when choosing natural burial, these memorials frequently take place in natural settings like meadows or wooded areas, offering a tranquil place of resting.

Aspects of a Green Funeral

A fundamental element of a sustainable funeral involves the utilization of biodegradable coffins and urns. Usually, recycled cardboard, wicker, or bamboo are used to make these containers. They decompose organically over time, in contrast to conventional coffins, enabling the body to return to the land.

Steer Clear of Embalming

Chemicals such as formaldehyde are used in embalming, a tradition funeral procedure, to preserve the body. Because embalming has negative environmental implications, it is avoided wherever possible in green funerals. Rather, until they are buried or cremated, remains are either naturally preserved or chilled.

Natural Burial Options

Dedicated natural burial sites that are meticulously maintained to preserve and improve the local ecology are frequently the site of green funerals. The use of non-biodegradable materials is usually prohibited at these burial sites, ensuring that the environmental impact of burials is kept to a minimum.

Sustainable Memorialization

Green funerals provide sustainable memorialization choices in addition to the traditional burial or cremation. To honor their loved ones and do their part for the environment, families can plant trees, design wildflower gardens, or erect eco-friendly memorials.

The Advantages of Green Funerals

Individual Satisfaction

Knowing that their last goodbye is in line with their principles and beliefs gives many people a great deal of comfort. Green funerals foster a stronger bond with nature and a sense of personal fulfillment.

Society and Heritage

Green funerals frequently entail a more engaged community. In memory of the deceased, friends and family might take part in environmentally beneficial projects like tree planting, meadow restoration, or other green initiatives, leaving a lasting legacy of environmental care.

Selecting a Green Funeral Provider and Organizing a Green Funeral

It’s essential to choose a funeral home or service provider knowledgeable in environmentally friendly methods while organizing a green funeral. They can assist in making decisions that suit your preferences and the environment by guiding you through the process.

Choosing an Appropriate Resting Site For Natural Burial

Look at natural burial sites nearby or at a place of your choosing. Make sure the location of your loved one’s last resting place adheres to stringent regulations and provides the peaceful, natural atmosphere you want. Remember that each location may have different natural burial sites available. Learn more about natural burial here.

Expressing Your Desires

Tell your family and loved ones exactly what you want. Talking about your desire for a green funeral beforehand will help to avoid any misunderstandings or arguments during a difficult moment. It’s critical to include your family in the decision-making process and to ensure that everyone respects and understands your decision.

Pre-Planning A Green Funeral

Think about organizing your eco-friendly funeral in advance. This relieves your loved ones of the stress of planning amid their grief by enabling you to make all the required decisions ahead of time. Making advance plans also guarantees that your desires will be fulfilled precisely as you had intended.

Various Types of Green Funeral Choices

Natural Burial

A popular choice for green funeral options is natural burial. The human remains are buried in a selected natural burial ground after being placed in a biodegradable casket or shroud. These grounds generally have natural plants, trees, and wildflowers that contribute to the tranquility and environmental friendliness of the area. By letting the body organically decompose and feed the soil, natural burial fosters a closer relationship with the earth.

Alkaline Hydrolysis (Water Cremation/Aquamation)

Alkaline hydrolysis, or aquamation, is a greener method of cremation than traditional fire-cremation. Alkaline chemicals, heat, and water are used to break down the body into a consistency similar to traditional cremated remains. Compared to traditional cremation, this method emits fewer greenhouse gases and is kinder to the environment. The residual bone fragments can be processed and given back to the family.

Terramation (Human Composting)

Terramation (also known as Human Composting) is an environmentally friendly end-of-life choice that is gaining popularity. It entails placing the human body in a specially designed vessel filled with natural materials like alfalfa, straw, and sawdust. The body is then gently transformed into nutrient-rich soil by naturally occurring microbial activity. The soil produced is completely safe to use for a memorial garden, to spread somewhere sacred, much like cremated remains, or for land in need of revitalization. The environmental impact of traditional burial or cremation is greatly reduced by the sustainable and environmentally friendly option of Terramation.

A green funeral minimizes the environmental effect of deathcare while providing a variety of environmentally friendly solutions that respect the values and beliefs of the deceased. Natural burial, aquamation, green cremation, and the growingly popular choice of Terramation are some of the options currently available. Every choice offers a chance to pay respect to our loved ones in a way that is both environmentally friendly and helps ensure a sustainable future.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Julia

    What kind of cleansing of the deceased is done to rid the body of pharmaceuticals, titanic joint replacements, etc. ?

    1. Kali

      Hi, Julia. Great question! If someone undergoes alkaline hydrolysis (water cremation) or terramation (body composting) then anything inorganic (such as pacemakers, medical implants, artificial joints, etc) are removed and recycled. For the pharmaceutical aspect, the high-ish temperatures of each process will usually nullify any pharmaceuticals that were in the body. If someone undergoes natural burial, their body is buried as-is. Normally most implants would not be removed from the body before burial.

Leave a Reply