Everything You Need to Know about the Best Green Burial Options That Are Eco Friendly
There are certain topics in life that we as human beings tend to avoid and steer far away from. One of those topics includes death and the after-effects of losing loved ones. There are many elements of burials that we tend to look away from to avoid causing any more pain than what has already been done, however, although this topic may appear grim it is also one of the most important. Just like the way we choose to bring life into the world so do we need to choose how we let death depart.
One of the main ideas behind this is funerals, burials, and cremation process, in simple terms the dispersing of the body. As we are currently living in a world focused on sustainability, we must not look past the same effect within the many aspects of death. Green burials and eco funerals are now being looked at in more depth with a larger understanding of how they may affect our environment, especially in the long run. In this article, we will be looking at the various eco-friendly burial options available for the public.
Environmentally Friendly Burial Options
I’m sure most of us hasn’t paid much or any attention to the different types of burials in the way that they impact the planet, or strived to find a greater more eco-friendly burial option, which is quite understandable considering the circumstances we are discussing, however, it has to be done, and green funeral options must be discussed and concluded.
The most traditional burial of all time evolves caskets in which the bodies are kept in and buried inside and into the ground, now while this may be traditional and seems like the most practical and almost “pretty” way to decompose, scientists and researchers suggest otherwise as the environmental impact may be doing more harm than good. This is by no means a sustainable burial option as it uses tons of harmful materials such as thousands of tons of steel, millions of tons of concrete, and up to seventy thousand trees in just one year. This is not great for the soil underneath the caskets and the carcinogenic fluid created will eventually leak into the earth causing some serious pollution of both the water and the land. However, saying this there are fortunately many green burial options that mimic the traditional method almost exactly expect in an eco burial way.
Is Cremation Bad for the Environment?
Another side of the burial world is the cremation process or the process of taking one’s body and burning it until only ashes remain. When looking at the environmental impact of cremations vs burial, In theory, many people automatically think that this is a more eco-death, however, they are most definitely wrong. So the question remains, is cremation environmentally friendly? While the cremation environmental impact is less than that of a traditional burial it is still extremely harmful to the environment. When someone is cremated, the process releases copious amounts of toxic chemicals such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, heavy metals, and fine soot into the atmosphere. Not only are these chemicals being released into the atmosphere, but to carry out a single cremation, it produces about 240kgs of carbon dioxide which we all know by now is one of the biggest threats to global warming and climate change.
Environmentally Friendly Burial Options
Now that we understand a little more about how our traditional methods of burials are considered to be harmful to the environment, we can now look further into the multitude of other more eco-friendly cemetery and burial options that can replace our traditional methods without losing their significance. Some types of green burials options include :
Mushroom Burial Suits
Ok, don’t be alarmed this may sound a little strange, and at first, I was slightly confused too, however, it makes sense. Mushrooms are an amazing organic material that can decompose human flesh. The mushroom burial suit refers to a type of pajama set that is lined with mushroom spores that will eventually eat away at human tissue and completely dissolve the body, making it a biodegradable burial.
The morbid sound of this eco-friendly burial option may seem a little scary or intimidating, however, it is a lot more innocent than it looks. Body farms are located in the countryside in which they are buried in certain areas such as swamps, sunny areas, and beneath the grass. They are purposely scattered around the farm and are eventually eaten by crows, maggots, and vultures which allow the body to decompose naturally.
Another organic funeral idea that has made its way to the surface is the science behind composting and in this case recomposing. This idea stems from taking remains of the body and composting them into the ground to act as a sort of fertilizer that feeds the soil and allows nature and plant life to grow. This ecological burial method is not yet legalized but is currently being researched in many parts of the United States.
What Are the Green Cremation Options?
We have so far discussed ideas behind replacing traditional burials with more environmentally friendly versions, but what about cremation and how it can become an environmentally friendly funeral too. For this, the researcher’s goal and the aim are to find a replacement for the cremation process that still allows the body to be decomposed in one go. Some eco-friendly cremation processes already in place include :
Aquamation is simple terms is the exact cremation process except for underwater. In this process, the body is placed into a stainless steel vessel that is filled with 95 percent water and 5 percent potassium hydroxide. The combination of these to sources and a high degree of 350 allows the body to dissolves almost instantaneously. After the decomposing process is complete only small parts of the skeleton remain, which are then ground up into a white powder, which resembles the “ashes” left by the cremation process.
Environmentally friendly cremation processes tend to take the same direction as that of the normal process but take additional steps within this process to control and reduce the environmental impact. This process uses no harmful chemicals and aims to serve as a greener option but with the same desired result.
Some other eco-friendly burial options include :
Sky burials are considered a sacred ritual within the Buddhist community, in which the bodies are taken to specific grounds in which they are eaten, which symbolizes an offering to the world, good karma, and a forced way to move on.
Green burials stay true to the traditional burial method except they contain no harmful chemicals or fluids. They use biodegradable caskets, no cement plots, and the grave is dug by hand. This method allows the corpse to decompose naturally, this is also a much more cost-effective option and ensures the body is returned seamlessly back into the natural soil.
Sea burials are exactly as their name indicates. This method entails dropping water-soluble urns or even entire bodies directly into the ocean. These types f burials have become increasingly more and more popular and now incorporate entire ships to see in which the funeral is held in the middle of the ocean.
As you can see when looking at a green burial vs cremation we see pros and cons to each of them, however when it comes to something as personal as death the choice is one hundred percent yours. But take into account that no matter your decision there are always more eco-friendly and sustainable options that allow your process to be the same but the negative impact on the Earth to be less. So the next time a funeral comes your way to opt for a greener burial option that makes even helps you to feel more at peace than that of any ordinary traditional method.
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