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article imageLive Green, Die Green - The Eco-friendly funeral Special

By Kim I. Hartman     Apr 25, 2010 in Environment
Considering an eco-afterlife? A "Green Burial" will return your remains to the earth naturally and avoids embalming, toxic chemicals, metal caskets and burial vaults. Eco-friendly burial at sea is another option for those dying to go green.
Today's funeral practices are not environmentally friendly. Land must be cleared to make room for more cemeteries to meet the need of the increasing number of grave spaces. Trees must be cut to make the caskets. Metals are needed for handles and hinges. Embalming fluid that are used contain chemicals like formaldehyde, methanol, ethanol and other toxic solvents and eventually find their way into our drinking water.
Cremation is another option many people have turned to over the years, and although most crematoriums have made considerable advancements to reduce toxic emissions. The risk of environmental damage from the smoke, toxins and chemicals that are released into the air still occurs and the use of fossil fuels has also raised many concerns.
"The facts are that conventional funerals are detrimental to the land, water, air and the health of the living. Green burials are gaining in popularity and becoming an option as many people are starting to consider the idea" says Cynthia Beal of The Natural Burial Company. "Many more people would choose these natural options if they knew about them said Beal.
Eco-friendly funeral service
Eco-friendly funeral service
Eco-friendly funeral
People who have been living a green life can continue that plan when they go to their final reward. A cardboard cremation casket is drab, you can add custom artwork to your green burial or cremation. Custom painting and design is available. Your lasting impact should be felt by your family and friends, not the Earth says Funeral Ideas.
The availability of natural funeral products are becoming more widely distributed and people are doing their part in saving the environment by cutting down on waste, gases and other pollutants involved with traditional metal caskets. White paperboard caskets constructed of 100 percent recycled paperboard can be hand painted and decorated with a very attractive design. There is no toxic chlorine bleach used, the while color is attained by using a limestone wash. The coffins or caskets can be hand painted, printed or stenciled to suit individual tastes and custom painting services are available.
What is a green burial? - A green funeral strives to provide an economical means of burial by allowing the body to return to the earth in a natural manner without damaging the environment. Some green cemeteries do not accept bodies that have been embalmed or have HIV, Hepatitis, MRSA or other infectious diseases. Although most will says Beal.
"The body is buried in a simple container made of biodegradable material such as bamboo, wicker, or cardboard which allows the body to decompose and return to the earth gradually and naturally.
In some cases the body may only be wrapped in a simple shroud, left to return to the earth in a natural way" says Beal.
"Green burial is a broad term. You've got the actual burial - where the bones end up - but you've also got the funeral. A simple green funeral means no embalming, a biodegradable casket or shroud, and no vault," explains Kimberley Campbell, vice president of Memorial Ecosystems Inc. a company in Westminster, S.C., that specializes in conservation burials.
Campbell also is the manager for Ramsey Creek Preserve also in Westminster. When she and her husband, Dr. Billy Campbell, founded the memorial nature park in 1998, it was the first "green cemetery" in the United States.
This lightly structured 100% biodegradable shroud is the State of the Art for all natural burial in ...
This lightly structured 100% biodegradable shroud is the State of the Art for all natural burial in the new Green Cemetery Revolution.
Green burials can take place in forests, fields, deserts, in the mountains and other natural settings. Natural markers such as a stone are encouraged or crosses and markers made from wood. You may also want to consider planting your favorite tree to mark the resting spot of your loved ones. Cremated remains may also be interred in a woodland cemetery. A green burial embodies the true nature of allowing the body to return to the earth.
With a natural or green burial, the body is allowed to naturally decompose and no chemicals are used to prepare the body. Bodies are placed in biodegradable coffins or funeral shrouds made from natural materials such as silk and cotton. These green burial methods will not release harmful chemical by-products into the environment.
Green burial's are less expensive, under $2000 in some areas, while a traditional funeral can exceed well over $10,000. A natural burial is a good choice for environmentalists and those who enjoy natural surroundings. A memorial service can be held at the cemetery site and provide your loved ones with a peaceful place to visit you in the future.
Cynthia Beal said Natural End has a map showing locations of cemeteries where Green Funerals are allowed and more are added every week. If you know of a cemetery where natural burial is an option and it's not on this list you can let them know and they will immediately ad it to the map.
Greg Douglas of Stevens and Grass Funeral Home in West Virginia said "They can provide services and products for an eco-friendly funeral if that is the desire of the deceased and their family." Douglas said "In West Virginia you can bury someone on your privately owned land and do not need a permit unless buried within city limits. Finding a cemetery that will allow natural funerals is an important factor you can look into when pre-planning a Green Funeral"
Creative Funeral Ideas says
Every year Americans bury enough metal coffins and concrete vaults to rebuild the Golden Gate. A typical 15 acre cemetery contains enough coffin wood to construct more than 60 homes, nearly 1,500 tons of casket metal another 30,000 tons of vault concrete. Plus enough toxic embalming fluid to fill a large swimming pool.
Beal said "While some funeral homes and cemetaries will say they have laws that require vaults, caskets, liners and embalming these are company rules and cemetary policies based on corporate money-making decisions not federal laws. Most often a green funeral will comply with any state laws that may be on the books. Skip the funeral home when searching for answers and locate a cemetary that allows eco-friendly burial when making your end of life decisions." Natural End sells at both the wholesale and retail level.
Other options for eco-friendly funerals include being tossed into the sea:
For those who would rather sleep with fishes than fertilize soil can have their ashes mixed with concrete and turned into an artificial reef to serve as marine habitat for sea life. To date, 200 memorial reefs — expected to last 500 years — have been built off the coasts of Florida, South Carolina and Texas.
Underwater pictures of the eco-friendly memorial reefs built by The Great Burial Reef Company
Underwater pictures of the eco-friendly memorial reefs built by The Great Burial Reef Company
Great Burial Reef
At Great Burial Reef you can find the assistance needed to present a truly unique memorial choice for your departed loved one that is meaningful, socially responsible and affordable - burial at sea in a living coral reef. There are many ways to say good-bye. Only one combines burial at sea tradition, environmentally-inspired science, and luxurious family service. Great Burial Reef's video shown above explore our very special services and learn why families across America who choose cremation are creating unforgettable memorial experiences and natural living legacies for their loved ones.
These artificial reefs help take pressure off natural reef systems, many of which have been destroyed and over-fished, and provide a home for fish, coral and sponges. The reefs are located in specified places and marked with bronze plaques so family members can dive to visit their dearly departed.
Poseidon's Garden offers Sea Burial Services with a unique design in which an unlimited number of blocks can be placed without disturbing existing reef growth or previously placed communities and still allow for a large continuous artificial reef to form.
A Starfish resting on an eco-friendly reef created by Great Burial Reef Company
A Starfish resting on an eco-friendly reef created by Great Burial Reef Company
Great Burial Reef
The Green Burial Council says that earth-friendly burials really speaks to old-fashioned values of frugality, simplicity, a love of family, a desire to do it yourself and self-sufficiency, and a respect for tradition. Green burial has come to be understood as end-of-life rituals, disposition options, and products that do not involve the use of toxic chemicals or non-biodegradable materials. In other words, it’s burial that does not involve embalming with hazardous chemicals, metal caskets, and concrete burial vaults. Green burial uses less energy and creates less waste than conventional burial. It's essentially the way most of humanity cared for its dead for thousands of years up until the late 19th century. In some instances, green burial can also be used to facilitate ecological restoration and landscape-level conservation.
Check out the growing lists of cemeteries and funeral service providers that agree to offer a baseline of more natural options. The Natural End project asks them to sign a pledge to you, pledging to give you what we consider are the "Natural Funeral Basics.
Green burial and funerals are generating much interest.. Not all green burials are created alike. They can be extremely elaborate and expensive. Be sure of what you are paying for and receiving before you sign that check and hand it over. Experts say to always include your family when making end of life decisions. Consumers need to be educated. It's just like any other green thing. You can put 'green' in the name and charge a premium for it so be sure of what you're getting when you make the decision to "die green."
Wicker casket at an eco-friendly funeral.
Wicker casket at an eco-friendly funeral.
Natural Burial Company
Trying to save money and can't afford that funeral then check out the video's and article -
Creepy, legal and free ways to dispose of a dead body (Includes video and interview)
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