Even funerals are becoming green these days, which speaks to the environmental concerns of society in general. You’d think that death would be the final frontier, where issues like being friendly to the environment don’t really matter anymore, but you’d be wrong. Funerals can actually be bad for the environment because of all of the embalming fluids that are used on dead bodies. While cremation is becoming far more popular, many people still see their bodies as a vessel for their souls, at least while they’re on Earth. That’s why traditional funerals and religious rites are still the norm. However, if going green appeals to you, here are five advantages of eco funerals and burials.
No Need for Embalming Fluids
A so-called green burial would not require the use of any embalming fluids. Embalming fluids have been known to preserve the human body’s remains a lot longer than what is necessary or natural. As such, they actually contribute to a certain degree of environmental pollution, especially over the long term. A green burial would not pollute the environment due to its focus on all-natural processes and is often chosen for eco funerals.
More Room for Natural Growth
A traditional cemetery is a site that really does not permit for much natural growth at all. A green burial would reverse that problem because the ground won’t be perennially disturbed in order to place coffins into the ground. Further, there also won’t be any headstones that are required, thereby leaving more of the natural environment that only works to promote more natural growth.
The big problem with traditional funerals is that they aren’t friendly to the environment because of the use of unnatural ingredients like embalming fluids, a metal casket and concrete burial vault, and so on. Eco funerals, on the other hand, simply allows for the body to recycle and decompose in the most natural way possible. The body’s interment in the soil will not impede decomposition in any way.
Eco Funerals and Burials Still Look Nice
Some people cringe at the thought of a green burial because they believe it won’t be as respectful or ceremonial as a traditional burial, but nothing is further from the truth. Instead of a headstone, a tree or native flat rock will be utilized to mark the burial, and inscriptions are still an option. In addition, vegetation around the burial site can be pre-chosen. People often prefer to visit their deceased loved one’s at a natural burial ground because it is much more peaceful due to its park-like setting.
Easier for Families
Loved ones who visit a proper cemetery tend to get depressed because of the reminder of death all around them. Green burials take place in sites that can double as nature preserves, which means that visiting loved ones have the option of even picnicking or hiking in the area when they visit their dead loved ones.
These are the five advantages of eco funerals and burials. These types of funerals and burials have been around for many centuries. However, it was only in modern times that they have been disrupted by new methods like embalming, metal caskets, vaults, and other practices that are harmful to the environment. Eco funerals are definitely an alternative to traditional Western burial methods, which some may find interesting and worth looking into more.
Updated: June 12, 2013