Thanks to rising trends in green and natural burial options, eco-conscious individuals no longer need to compromise their values in the afterlife.
For most of human history, natural burial methods were considered the norm. It wasn’t until the start of the 20th century that toxin-laden embalming practices and air-polluting cremation methods became mainstream. As more and more individuals look for ways to reduce their carbon footprints, however, green burial options are gaining popularity.
What Is Green Burial?
Green or natural burials are burial methods that have a low environmental impact. Utilizing non-toxic and biodegradable materials in place of chemicals and other resources that are damaging or harmful to the environment, green burial methods provide eco-friendly ways of caring for the dead.
Types of Green Burial Methods
There are countless options when it comes to green burial methods. From biodegradable casket options to water-based cremation, the types of green burial methods available are many, and — according to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) — demand for green funeral choices are on the rise. In its 2018 Consumer Preferences and Awareness Study, NFDA reported almost half of all Americans are interested in green burial options — here’s a look at just a few of the methods available.
Back to Nature
Have you ever wished you could spend eternity among Mother Nature? Thanks to a rise in green burial options, now you can. One method called The Living Urn allows for an individual’s remains to be combined with a soil additive and planted with the seedling of his or her choice. Similar options include the Infinity Burial Suit from Coeio, which effectively cleanses the body and soil of toxins to deliver the body’s nutrients to the surrounding plant roots, allowing the body to truly become one with nature.
An alternative to traditional cremation, hydro-cremation — also known as alkaline hydrolysis or water cremation — uses water in place of fire to reduce the body to its basic element of bone. The end result is similar to remains produced by traditional fire cremation, but the environmental impact is significantly less.
Adventure awaits in the afterlife, thanks to biodegradable urns that can carry remains out to sea before dissolving in the water. The company Passages International, for example, offers Himalayan Salt Urns that are handcrafted from 250-million-year-old rock salt deposits that float and dissolve after five hours in the water.
The Final Frontier
Stargazers can live out their fantasies of space travel in the afterlife by sending their remains into the stratosphere, no burial required. One company called Mesoloft makes this possible through the use of high-altitude balloons. The process works by placing the deceased’s remains inside of the balloon and releasing the balloon into the atmosphere. Mother Nature takes care of the rest.