Eco-Friendly Alternatives You Can Choose
As eco-friendly alternatives to conventional burial are becoming more popular, people are realizing just how harmful “typical” burial services are to the environment. While it is pretty standard across many parts of the United States to have embalming, a viewing of the body, a nice casket and stone marker for your loved ones when they pass, these actions are very expensive and in no way help the local ecosystem.
Why Conventional Burial is so Harmful for the Environment
- Conventional Burial Uses Toxic Chemicals for Embalming
To reduce the rate of decay, embalming is used to preserve the body for a “viewing” service where friends and family can say their last goodbyes. While the thought is nice, the chemicals used in this process are very strong and toxic. Formaldehyde, menthol, phenol, and glycerin are just a few of the toxins that make up the embalming solution. It’s estimated that 800,000 gallons of formaldehyde are placed in the ground each year due to conventional burials.
- Conventional Burial Uses Many Resources
The casket alone in typical burial services is made of wood, steel, copper, bronze and other useful resources. Some spend between $5,000 and $10,000 on a casket just for it to be placed in the ground and never used again. In just one year, the amount of casket wood buried is equivalent to about 4 million acres of forest. This wood and other resources could be used for more effective purposes.
- Conventional Burial Takes Up So Much Space
When you think about the 4 million acres of forest laid into the ground each year, it raises the question: Is there even room to still bury people? If you drive past the cemeteries in your local town, you’ll see they all look full. Research shows that if you add up the square footage of all the cemeteries in the U.S. it measures 1 million acres of land.
Is Cremation Better for the Environment than Conventional Burial?
Many people understand the negative effects of conventional burials, and have since decided to be cremated. While this method is thought to be better for the environment, it is still not the best choice. The burning of bodies releases gases such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and other heavy metals into the air.
What is the Most Environmentally Friendly Way to be Buried?
The most eco-friendly way to be buried is simply natural burial. An up and coming trend in the funeral world, natural burial is the only way to ensure your body is decomposed in nature, supplying nutrients back to the earth. Any resources used must be biodegradable and not harm the environment.
If you’re interested in natural burial, contact Milton Fields to learn more. Located an hour north of Atlanta, Georgia their natural burial grounds are eco-friendly, cost effective and open to those of all faiths and religions. If you’d like to schedule a visit or speak with someone directly, you can call 404-372-5446.