Green burial options are becoming more and more accepted today across the United States. A survey was taken in 2008 asking respondents if they would consider a green burial. 43 percent of those asked said that a green burial is something they would consider, a dramatic 21 percent increase from the response generated by the same survey just a year earlier. The growing popularity of green burials can be attributed to a wide range of factors. It could be due to the trending enthusiasm behind becoming more environmentally friendly, or it could just be people are becoming more in tune with the idea of letting nature take its course without any metal coffins or embalming chemicals.
What exactly are green burials?
Green burials, also referred to as natural burials, are environmentally friendly burials which require less energy to create, consumer fewer resources, and are non-toxic. These burials are designed to naturally biodegrade, greatly benefiting the growth of native trees, flowers, greenery, and other wildlife in the area. Experts estimate that over 60,000 tons of steel and 4.8 million gallons of embalming fluid are buried each year with traditional cremation burials. Green burials present a healthy, natural alternative.
Planning a green burial isn’t any more difficult than a more traditional funeral is; it’s just a new process. Here we are going to reveal the most popular green burial options to make it easier for you to realistically consider the possibility of having a green burial.
Green caskets usually consist of sustainably harvested poplar wood and made without any varathanes, metals, hinges, dyes, or chemicals. Poplar trees are often referred to as “weed wood” because they mature at a particularly fast rate, allowing them to quickly reforest an area after being planted. Green caskets use traditional carpentry methods together with non-chemical adhesives to join corners as an alternative to using nails and screws, which take a very long time to naturally break down.
Natural Land Protected by Cemeteries
There are six fully certified conversation cemeteries around the United States. These certified grave sites are governed by rules that ensure the entire burial process remains completely natural and organic. For example, one of the rules is every grave site must be dug by hand, and only biodegradable material is allowed to be buried with the body. Conservation easements on green burial sites ensure that no further development will be permitted on the land. The land can be protected forever.
What are the costs of a green burial?
Green burials can be less expensive than more traditional funerals because the process is much simpler. There are no metal caskets or expensive embalming fluids used. However, due to the many steps of a green burial that require manual, non-automated labor, the costs of a green burial remain more expensive than a cremation.
Take Time to Consider Green Burial Options
The environmental stress relief a green burial provides is tremendous, it really does make a difference. Strongly consider choosing one of the green burial options if the idea of resting with nature organically appeals to you. Going green is by far the most environmentally friendly burial option available today.
Updated: June 10, 2013