You drove a Prius and bought carbon offsets. Whenever you could, you biked to work. You schlepped cloth bags to the grocery store—most of the time. You forked over hard-earned cash to the Sierra Club and installed solar. Well done. Now, however, things have changed: you’re dead. And unless you prepare for it, you will be part of the typical American funeral, which is a highly toxic affair. It includes embalming (pumping the body full of formaldehyde), toxic grave liners as well as slabs of concrete around your coffin, so your remains can never mix with the earth.
In the year 2011 American funerals were responsible for burying…
- 927,060 gallons of embalming fluid
- 118,272 tons of steel
- 3,200 tons of copper
- 32 million board feet of hardwood
- 1.9 million tons of concrete
Green burials are a relatively “new” practice based on techniques used for thousands of years. Green burial generally means that the body, which is not embalmed, is buried in an eco-friendly casket or shroud in a manner that allows it to return to the earth as quickly as possible. That is why green burials are also called natural burials or eco-burials.
Let your last (carbon) foot print be one of love and respect for this earth.
Here are some of the things we can help arrange for your green funeral:
- Find a cemetery that allows a natural burial without the use of a vault or tombstone
- Use an organic coffin or natural casket without a metal or glue parts such as banana leaves,
- wicker or pinewood
- If your family has a plot or family cemetery on privately owned land, use it for a natural burial
- Use an organic or biodegradable urn in case of cremation
- Request no embalming
- Dress the deceased in a shroud or natural clothing
- Coordinate the procession with few cars, use horse carriages or rickshaws instead
- Make prayer cards and programs from recycled paper
- Use reusable or biodegradable utensils for the reception