Over 55 million people pass away each year on a global scale. Considering this number can have an adverse impact on the environment if people go the traditional route of burial, having a green, eco-friendly cremation or burial is an ideal way to lower the impact our bodies have on the earth’s resources. While death and dying can be difficult topics to consider and discuss prematurely, making plans now for an eco-friendly burial can help contribute to a healthier planet for your descendants.
Here are six ideal ways to have a green, eco-friendly burial.
- Choose cremation
Some people argue that cremation isn’t eco-friendly, since the act of burning often results in air pollution and the release of harmful toxins into the air. However, modern crematoriums have made changes to the cremation process to significantly cut down on emissions. When you compare the eco-friendly benefits of cremation to the traditional funeral, cremation still comes out ahead in regards to what’s best for the environment. Plus, cremation significantly reduces the risk for embalming fluids to contaminate nearby wildlife and water supply, and frees up extra land space for the living.
- Choose biodegradable materials
Regardless of whether you choose cremation or funeral, you can now choose to use biodegradable urns and coffins to help lessen the impact human remains can have on the environment. Ask your cremation provider about your options for biodegradable urns, or coffins made from cardboard or bamboo.
- Green your memorial service
Use recycled paper to make programs or hymn sheets, and buy flowers from local florists who use organic supplies and materials. Instead of going the traditional procession route with a line of cars, make carpooling arrangements with individuals who have large vehicles, or rent a bus for the occasion. If your loved one cared about the environment, consider serving only organic food and drinks for refreshments.
- Leave a green marker
Instead of leaving behind a monument, statue, or gravestone for your family and other mourners to visit, designate a green, living marker instead. Create a memorial in the form of a tree, bush, vegetable plant, or flower garden. If you’re tech-savvy and enjoy spending time online, consider creating an online memorial that your friends and family members can visit indefinitely.
- Give green sympathy gifts
Traditionally, many people offer flowers to mourning family members as a way to convey their sympathy, but flowers often have a short shelf life and can have a major impact on farming resources. Instead of going the route of flowers, choose eco-friendly sympathy gifts that last forever. For example, donate to a charity or organization in the name of your loved one to contribute to the overall wellness of the living.
- Pre-plan your cremation
Pre-planning your cremation can prevent your loved ones from making alternate arrangements that would otherwise have a negative impact on the environment. Plus, planning your cremation ahead of time can help your friends and family cope with your passing in the healthy manner they deserve without having to worry about making quick cremation or funeral arrangements. Consult with your cremation provider as soon as possible so you can start working toward planning your cremation.
For more information on cremation services, please contact Heartland Cremation. With four generations of experience in the funeral and cremation business, we provide the Kansas City area with simple, worry-free cremation services that will treat your loved one with all the dignity and respect that they deserve.