If one were to ask ‘what is the most important world issue that has taken place in the last decade?’ you would not be wrong to respond with environmental conservation. As humans, we’re becoming more and more aware of the environmental impact we leave on the earth. The first step to solving a problem is to become aware of it. Very little people look at traditional burials and cemeteries as a hazard to the environment, likely out of fear of disrespect to the diseased. The problem is that traditional burials and the overwhelming amount of cemeteries operating today are doing so in a way extremely dangerous to the environment. Today we’re going to tell you all about the benefits of green cemeteries, and why choosing to have a green burial at a green cemetery can really make a difference on the environment.
What is a Green Cemetery?
Only recently have burial methods such as cremation become a trend. Why? Most experts believe the reason why cremation has become one of the most popular burial methods is because of the lower cost compared to green burials. Most, however, don’t take the negative environmental effect each stage of the cremation process occurs into consideration.
Picture this: a quiet, forested area complete with the entire natural ecosystem that you would expect. There are no paved roads, the grass has not been fertilized nor manicured, and everything appears natural. This is a green cemetery. There are no headstones to mark each grave site, instead, trees and flowers have been planted as natural markers. Unembalmed bodies are laid into a basic, biodegradable coffin, without any concrete liners. Everything is one hundred percent organic. Does this sound new to you? Remember, this is what burial has been like for the majority of human history.
3 Important Benefits of Green Cemeteries
More and more people every year are becoming open to the idea of having their own green burial in a green cemetery. Let’s discuss three unique benefits of green cemeteries.
- The positive effect on the environment – Green cemeteries have a huge trickledown effect on the environment. Natural decomposition enriches the soil, in turn assisting the forestry and plants, which help local wildlife survive. This is a sharp 180 degree turn from traditional cemeteries which actually damage the eco-system.
- The positive effect on the community – The atmosphere of a green cemetery is very different than that of a traditional cemetery. When you’re visiting a green cemetery it doesn’t feel as though you’re walking through a graveyard. It’s much akin to the mindset of ‘celebrating life’ rather than mourning a loss.
- Green cemeteries serve as both a natural burial, and a conservation of land. Many green cemeteries will double as an open park. You can often see families having a picnic, or throwing a Frisbee around. Some believe this may re-invent ominous cemetery culture.
There are enormous benefits to choosing a green cemetery over a traditional cemetery. Take your time to read this page once more and decide if you want to be a part of the green cemetery movement.
Updated: June 7, 2013