Green burial and cremation options are growing in popularity as an effort to decrease the environmental impact of traditional burials and cremation. Be sure to note that the main objective of green burials and cremations is to decrease environmental impact, not to be affordable or accessible for all.
More environmentally conscious caskets are often made of decomposable and natural materials. Ensure with any casket you choose, particularly if not purchasing it from the funeral home, that the burial plot is able to accommodate the material. Examples of “green” casket materials are:
- Cardboard (can be recycled cardboard)
- Organic cotton
- Banana leaf
*For more information about green burials, you can visit Green Burial Council.
- Terramation is an eco-friendly alternative to cremation. Terramation uses a special process to speed up the composition of a human body to turn it into usable soil. For more information, see companies like Recompose.
- This process uses water, potassium hydroxide, and heat to reduce the down body to nutrient-rich liquid and bone.
- Biodegradable urns contain the ashed but then can be planted alongside trees, flowers, or in a garden.
- Aquacremation uses a gentle stream of water to speed along the body’s decomposition. This process uses a moderate amount of water and is more eco-friendly than cremation.