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Green Burial is not just throwing ashes on a compost heap

Submitted by dmcgraw on Wed, 03/22/2017 - 4:23pm

Green Burial has often been correlated to what people used to do pre-Civil war, when there was no embalming, burial vaults, or cremation. However, the new concept of "green burial" is more deliberative than just burying the body in a shroud or a biodegradable coffin. It is a way to give the body back to the earth.

Key Takeaways:

  • The formaldehyde used in embalming is carcinogenic and can seep into the ground and water systems. Over a million tons of concrete are being buried via burial vaults every year.  And, even though cremation sounds more "natural", it releases heavy metals into the air - plus uses a lot of our precious fossil fuels for the burning. Therefore, since green burial doesn't use any of these processes, it can have a major, positive impact on the environmental.
  • In green burial cemeteries, you mark the grave with an engraved stone - or no markers at all. So visually, the cemetery is a vast meadow or forest instead of acres of tombstones and ultra-manicured grass.
  • In the end, green burial does not try to preserve the body for all time. Rather, it starts a renewal process, where the body is given back to earth to decompose and, therefore, continue life's processes.

"My father was not alone. As soon as he went into the ground, he was joined by the beetles, the worms, the bacteria, tree roots."

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