The Solar Power Expert Blog

10 Reasons To Choose a Green Burial

by GuestPoster - October 14th, 2011.
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A green burial is a new concept of disposing of your body in the most ecologically friendly way. Green burials ensure the burial site remains in the most natural state possible. The internment of bodies is done in a biodegradable casket, shroud or even a blanket. No embalming fluid or concrete vaults are used.

It will be no surprise that many councils are finding it harder and harder to allocate enough land for traditional burial plots. The overly large and costly crypts are fast going out of fashion, and cremation is being frowned on as being a considerable contributor to the increase of unwanted green house gas emissions, especially when you take into account the number of cremations being carried out each year around the world. Modern lawn cemeteries take up large parcels of land and cost a lot in maintenance. There must be another way of departing this life and in the process leaving as small a carbon footprint as possible. This is now possible with what is known as a green burial.

There are over 200 green cemeteries in Britain but only a handful in Australia to date. A green burial means the body is interred in the soil in a way that does not inhibit decomposition and allows the body to recycle naturally. Your remains will then act as a fertiliser for the early growth of trees and grass and will soak up carbon from the atmosphere

A green burial can therefore assist the environment in many ways and at the same time will need no ongoing care. Another environmental plus is that rather than burying the body six feet under the ground it is buried at a lesser depth which allows it to break down more readily and contribute more to the fertilising of the soil.

In Australia, an Adelaide funeral parlour, White Knight, has been involved in environmentally friendly burials since 2008. It does away with the coffin altogether. This particular funeral parlour wraps the body in cotton, then a biodegradable waterproof wrapping before covering everything with a hessian shroud. They then use what looks like an expensive coffin which they call the ‘transporter’.  It’s only use is for transporting the body to the grave from the funeral service. The ‘transporter’ has a bottom that acts as a trapdoor and once lowered into the grave it is slowly pulled back up again. The bottom is allowed to open and all that remains at the bottom of the grave is the shrouded body. No formaldehyde, no metal, no varnish, no wood and no waste.

In fact there are 10 sound environmental reasons for considering a green burial, these include the following:

  1. A natural burial creates no waste and does not impact the environment.
  2. Deaths worldwide will double from the present day number by 2040. Worldwide deaths are presently 56 million a year and this is expected to increase to 112 million by 2040. More traditional burials means more impact on the environment.
  3. United States studies have shown that embalming fluid is designed to stop or at least inhibit the production of natural enzymes and bacteria in the soil that is necessary to sustain life.
  4. Materials used for a traditional burial include plastic, petroleum products, caskets, embalming chemicals and glues. All likely to create damage to the environment in a number of ways as they break down.
  5. It has been estimated that in North America alone the quantity of metal used in casket production would equal that used to build the Golden Gate Bridge.
  6. The amount of reinforced concrete brought into the United States every year for the building of burial vaults is over one and a half million tons.
  7. Sixteen percent of mercury emissions in Britain result from gas created during cremations.
  8. The wood used in caskets worldwide each year comes from 60 million trees.
  9. The legacy you leave behind after your death will be a positive one, and you are contributing to making the world a better place for your children and grandchildren.
  10. Your friends and family can enjoy a natural setting when they visit your gravesite, rather than an artificially manicured cemetery, and they can see a tangible reminder of you living on.

A green burial is what nature intended. The reuniting of our bodies with the earth. All living things have, or will at one time, have to die and in one way or another return to the soil. This in turn creates new life as microbes in the soil continually break everything down. There is no waste in nature as it is recycling at its best. A natural burial using nature will assist in the ongoing proliferation of native shrubs and trees that will become the natural environment of countless birds and other wildlife. It encourages land preservation and provides a conservation easement that can, in theory, live on forever.

Kristy Ramirez writes for Life Insurance Finder where she helps people to compare quotes and select the best life insurance policy to meet their needs at the best possible price.

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