Once we die, or a loved one dies, we are faced with the choice of how to care for and bury the body. The “traditional” burial, is when one is embalmed and placed inside a casket, which is later placed in a vault, either above ground or within the ground itself; the other option is cremation, which is the burning of ones body at high temperatures leaving only bones. What if one does not want either of those options for either personal reasons or religious reasons? That is where green burials come in!
What is a Green Burial?
A green burial is a natural burial. Once one passes on, there is no embalming, no metal casket, and no burial vault. Everything is kept simple and natural to ensure that the burial site stays as natural as possible. Instead of using the typical caskets and vaults one is accustomed to seeing, persons buried in a green burial are buried in a biodegradable casket, or wrapped in a shroud or ones favorite blanket. Green burials are a great option for those who are concerned about the environment. The purpose of a green burial is to let ones body decompose as it would naturally. This allows for “mother nature” to break everything down and recycle it.
Green Burial versus Traditional Burial
Green burials provide ones with an alternative to being embalmed, which allows one to become closer to nature. Traditional burials are costly, ranging from $5,000 to $6,000 and depending on what casket or vault one chooses this price can actually increase. A green burial costs a lot less, usually ranging from $2,000 to $2,500. Embalming typically uses the chemical formaldehyde, which has been proven to cause health risks, including cancer, which can pose health risks in funeral homes.
Green Burial versus Cremation
Cremation does have an environmental impact since it uses fossil fuels and uses a lot of energy. Mercury, from fillings, is emitted, along with pollution and carbon emissions. Though many people choose cremation because they believe it is more environmentally friendly, it is not. This also poses a problem on what to do with ones ashes. Who takes them? Where do we put them? One may not want to “carry around” his or her mother or father for an extended period of time.
Green burials or environmentally friendly burial grounds have not always been an option. By choosing a green burial, one can lower the cost of a burial, and help prevent family members from making hard decisions after ones passing. For more information about green burials, visit the Green Burial Council . For information about finding a green burial provider in your area, visit the ” Finding a provide r” section on the Green Burial Council website.