In Phase 2 of our End of Life Doula Certificate program, we work with 5 domains of life as a framework for discussing and potentially realizing end of life desires and wishes for those in our care. One of the domains of like focuses on after death care. Many individuals these days have a great interest in “going green” ….. we wanted to share this article from Mother Nature Network about: Going green when it's your time to go…..
From biodegradable coffins to tree-sprouting urns, eco-friendly burials offer a way for those who live green to also die green.
Burial and cremation are the most common ways we dispose of the dead, but while these methods are steeped in tradition, they’re far from environmentally friendly.
Embalming bodies requires cancer-causing chemicals like formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde and phenol — in fact, every year in the U.S. we bury more than 5 million gallons of embalming fluid, according to the Property and Environment Research Center. Plus, caskets are often made from mined metals, toxic plastic or endangered wood. U.S. cemeteries use 30 million board feet of hardwoods, 90,000 tons of steel and 17,000 tons of copper and bronze annually, according to the Funeral Consumers Alliance. Casket burials also prevent a corpse from decomposing efficiently, and this slow rotting process favors sulfur-loving bacteria, which can harm nearby water sources.
Cremation may seem like a greener alternative, but the process requires a lot of energy and creates air pollution. While new burners and filters have made cremation more efficient and less-polluting, crematoriums still release chemicals like dioxin, carbon dioxide and mercury into the atmosphere. And the energy used to cremate one body is equivalent to driving 4,800 miles, according to Bob Butz, author of "Going Out Green: One Man's Adventure Planning His Own Natural Burial."
Not only is greening your burial good for the planet, but it's also easy on the wallet. The average funeral costs between $7,000 and $10,000, but you can cut back on a lot of funeral expenses and save serious green if you opt for some of these eco-friendly choices. So if you want to be as green in death as you are in life, check out these burial options.