What is the importance of an earth friendly funeral?
Every day, many of us make choices to try and minimize our environmental impact on the earth. We try to recycle, reuse as much plastic as possible, drive more fuel-efficient or even cars, and we may even plant our own garden and learn to compost. We think about these earth friendly acts, no matter how small, as a good thing for our planet.
Current death care methods are damaging to the environment.
Imagine being able to make the same kind of earth friendly decision when we die. An earth friendly funeral. Current traditional funeral standards are not earth friendly funerals at all. A burial usually consists of embalming with formaldehyde-based chemicals, placement in a wood or metal casket, and then burial in a concrete and rebar grave liner in a cemetery with perpetual use of that land. The current alternative that people have come to believe is more earth friendly is cremation, which ironically is actually the exact opposite. Each cremation uses roughly 30 gallons of gas and emits upwards of 530lbs of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, leaving you with a plastic bag full of pulverized charred bone.
Many people are led to believe that embalming is necessary, when in truth it is entirely more of a cosmetic procedure. Embalming is designed to preserve the person and make them look more “life like,” which lends itself to denying the death has occured, and further complicating the grief process. Oftentimes embalming is touted as the only way to slow decomposition when in truth ice, the much more earth friendly funeral option, has been working for generations. Technology like reusable earth friendly gel packs will allow us to keep a person cool and in good condition for long periods of time so that the family has time to gather and say their goodbyes.
So, are there truly earth friendly funeral alternatives to these traditional methods? Yes!
To be an earth friendly funeral alternative is all about low waste, carbon emissions of the process, and the resulting product. We also believe that being earth friendly means it is financially feasible and there are no hidden fees because being people friendly is earth friendly.
Return Home offers the only true earth friendly funeral option. Our Terramation, or human composting, process allows us to gently transform human remains into beautiful rich soil for the family to do with as they wish and continue the cycle of life. It’s very earth friendly, because we return organic matter to the planet, which is essential to the wellbeing of the place we call home. Terramation allows all of the nutrients and carbon that the body has to be sequestered into the soil and returned to the earth instead of blowing up the smoke stack as would happen in a cremation. Our energy input is approximately 1/10th that of a cremation, decidedly more earth friendly.
When families are presented with their loved ones’ compost it is very easily seen as an earth friendly way for the cycle of life to continue; their loved one can continue to thrive through plants, flowers, and gardens.. When traditionally they may have been faced with a dreary cemetery to visit, they are now able to plant a tree with their loved ones’ soil and have their morning coffee in the shade of that tree. There is plenty of compost to share amongst family and friends which means that many earth friendly memorials can be created all around the world. This also ensures that the memory of that person lives on in beautiful, life giving spaces.
Can I Plan an Earth Friendly Funeral Ahead of Time?
If you are trying to be more earth friendly in your everyday life, think about earth friendly funeral options for your end of life planning. This is your chance to make your last act on earth one that gives back.