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With green caskets, a more earth-friendly end
Submitted by dmcgraw on Tue, 03/28/2017 - 10:45am
America had natural burials until the Civil War when embalming came into fashion due to the practice of embalming soldiers. Now, we are facing the environmental impact of our current burial practices involving embalming, non-biodegradable coffins, and concrete vaults, So, we are once more embracing natural burial, where the body is not embalmed but rather, placed in a shroud or biodegradable coffin or casket and placed directly in the soil where the body can decompose naturally.
During the Civil War, we started embalming soldiers' bodies so the bodies wouldn't decompose on the long train ride home. If the bodies weren't embalmed, the trains could have literally exploded from the released gasses caused by decomposing. This practice of embalming started our current burial practice of embalming and burial.
Due to our current burial practices, America could rebuild the Golden Gate bridge every year with the amount of metal we use for burial. We also bury over a million tons of concrete and 800,000 gallons of embalming fluid. Plus, a lot of the caskets' and coffins' exotic woods are imported from the rain forests.
Due to these environmental concerns, natural burial is coming back in vogue. And small businesses like the one featured in the article are being created to artistically make coffins (tapered-shoulder shape) and caskets (rectangular) from biodegradable materials such as bamboo, woven fiber, pine, recycled paper, cardboard - and even banana leaves.
"Many people buy metal coffins, she says, because “we just didn’t know” about the impact.Now we do."
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