In today’s age, people are becoming more conscious of their effects on the environment. People who feel passionately about saving the planet want to continue to do their part even after they pass.
A green funeral is a more environmentally friendly option compared to a traditional burial service. The exact characteristics of a green funeral will vary, but their main goal is to reduce the environmental impact.
There are no chemicals involved, so that means the body is not embalmed. Not using chemicals allows for the body to decompose back into the earth. Additionally, the body is not cremated in this practice.
Although more people are considering green funerals today, this idea is not new. Most memorial services before the 19th century were done this way. Additionally, many traditional Muslim and Jewish funeral ceremonies can be considered ‘green’.
Types of Cemeteries
There are different types of cemeteries in the U.S that offer eco-friendly options. Hybrid cemeteries are conventional cemeteries that also offer a green option. There are areas marked off specifically for those doing green burials.
Natural burial grounds are only dedicated to natural burials. Conservation burial grounds allow for natural burials to take place in an area that’s protected by a conservation land trust. Some of the burial fees go toward preserving and managing the land.
Why Choose a Green Ceremony?
Reduces Waste of Resources
Green burials utilize far fewer resources thus having less of an impact on the environment. Each year US cemeteries bury:
- 30 million board feet of hardwood
- 90,000 tons of steel in caskets
- 17,000 tons of steel and copper in vaults
- 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete in burial vaults.
Lower Burial Cost
Green funerals are typically less expensive because you do not need to purchase traditional caskets. Traditional caskets cost thousands of dollars, but a bio-degradable coffin, made of plywood, will save you thousands of dollars.
An even less expensive option you can choose is a shroud. A shroud is simply a cloth that’s wrapped around the deceased person’s body before burial.
You will also save money by not having the body embalmed. The average cost of embalming a body is between $500-$700.
Many people have a special, spiritual connection to nature. Laying them to rest in a way that honors their spiritual connection is incredibly meaningful and honoring.
If you are interested in exploring burial service options or want to learn more about environmentally sustainable options, then contact Jeff Monreal Funeral Home. Losing a loved one is never easy. Our dedicated funeral directors are here to help you through this special time.