Many people haven’t given much thought to how different methods of disposition can affect the environment. While you may have a strong idea of whether you prefer to be buried or cremated, you might not have considered the effects of each one on the planet. If you’re interested in having a “green burial”, in which steps are taken to lower the harmful impact on the planet, ask your funeral home near Midlothian, VA, for more information as to what kind of options they offer. Here are a few ways that you can make a traditional burial more eco-friendly.
One thing you may not have known is that caskets themselves often contain harmful chemicals that can leech into the soil. They’re frequently made with wood that is treated to slow its degradation, but these treatments are toxic. Additionally, the hard woods and precious metals that are used in casket production have the potential to be used for many other things, rather than simply being buried to slowly decompose. One way that people are choosing more eco-friendly burials is with more simple, untreated caskets. These can be made from wood, but they will not emit harmful chemicals into the soil after being buried. Some people even choose to be buried in a shroud made from a natural fiber, such as cotton or linen. By using simple, biodegradable materials for burial, you are able to lessen the overall detrimental impact on the environment.
Another harmful aspect of many traditional burials is the embalming process. Many people choose embalming because it allows for the family to hold a viewing, in which family and friends can attend, see their loved one a final time, and have closure. While this is an important part of the grieving process for many people, it also unfortunately requires the use of toxic chemicals to preserve the person’s body. There are some more eco-friendly alternatives to embalming, but generally they will require the funeral to take place as quickly as possible. However, by avoiding embalming, you will prevent those harmful chemicals from entering the soil.
Finally, you may want to look into your options when it comes to where to bury your loved one. There are many cemeteries that embrace green practices, and they facilitate eco-friendly burials. For instance, rather than having a headstone or traditional grave marker you could have a natural headstone, such as a beautiful tree, that can mark their place of rest. Another option might be some perennial wildflowers, which will continue to bloom each year for many years to come.
These are a few of the main ways that you can have a more eco-friendly or “green” burial for a loved one, or for yourself. As we begin to see how much our actions have affected the planet and our climate, it becomes clear that we must do what we can to mitigate our own personal impact. Find out if your funeral home near Midlothian, VA, has any resources or suggestions for creating a greener burial process. Then, you can take comfort in knowing that even after passing away, you can make a positive difference on the environment and planet.