In recent years, there has been a great push to become more environmentally conscious in our lives, and with good reason. We are learning that this effort can even extend into how our final arrangements and disposition are handled. While cremation is coming to be seen as an eco-friendlier option, it releases harmful gases. There are many ways to have a “green” earth burial as well. At your funeral home near College Park, MD, you can ask about the different ways to make a burial less harmful to the environment.
Traditional burial typically involves a casket that is made using valuable treated hardwoods, as well as some type of metal. The casket is buried inside a concrete vault at the cemetery. Many people have their loved ones embalmed prior to burial so that a viewing and open-casket funeral is possible. Unfortunately, embalming and treated wood both involve harmful chemicals, which can be leached into the soil over time after burial. Additionally, most of the materials that are buried will not biodegrade over time.
Fortunately, there are more and more options becoming available that allow for the burial process to be much less harmful to the environment. You can do one or all of these things to lessen the negative impact of burial. One thing that many people are doing is purchasing a biodegradable casket or burial shroud. These are typically made of things like bamboo, untreated and sustainably harvested wood, silk, or other various materials. Unlike traditional caskets, these are designed to break down naturally into the soil, allowing the earth to continue its natural cycle. Depending on the cemetery where your loved one will be buried, you can also request that a concrete vault not be used. Not every place will allow for this, but it is worth looking into.
Another thing you can do to lessen the harmful impact of traditional burial is to utilize eco-friendly preservation methods. Rather than typical embalming, which uses harmful toxins like formaldehyde, you can look into greener solutions. These might include refrigeration, dry ice, or non-toxic embalming fluids. These options will not allow for as long of a period of preservation, so the services and burial will have to take place relatively soon after death.
Finally, many people are even foregoing the traditional concrete gravestone markers. Instead, they are opting for natural markers, such as a tree, decorative shrub or bush, or patch of perennial flowers. These provide an excellent way to add to and even improve the environment in that area. They also still give the family a meaningful place to visit when remembering their loved ones.
As you can see, there are many creative ways to make a traditional burial more eco-friendly. Even if you are simply considering preplanning your own final arrangements, you can explore these options. At your local funeral home near College Park, MD, they can help introduce you to a variety of options for your final arrangements that are more beneficial to the environment. Then, you can feel at peace knowing that even after passing, you have made a positive difference to our planet for future generations.