The idea of being buried in a biodegradable pod or a detoxifying mushroom suit has been fictitious for a long time. Still, an increasing number of people are advocating for green burials. The increasing trend towards eco-friendly burial activities is becoming more evident and has a positive effect on the environment, and it has altered the way death is viewed (Balonier et al., 2019). The transition towards green burial is not an easy task due to t the limited level of awareness.
The first green conservation burial aground in the United States is in Ramsey Creek preserve located in Westminster, South Carolina. It was first opened in 1998. Today there are ninety-eight operational green cemeteries in the country (Balonier et al., 2019). More than one hundred eco-friendly cemeteries spread across the United States. They range from hybrid cemeteries that have turned part of their land into green and conventional burial, comprising a burial ground that also acts as a wildlife preservation area. Green burials must ensure that the following three basic requirements stated by the Green Burial Council are met. First, the body should not be preserved using traditional embalming fluid. Also, artificial vaults are not allowed, and only biodegradable shrouds or burial containers are used. Green cemeteries exclude burial vaults and embalmed remains, and cremated remains. Often there is a specification of caskets or shrouds made from non-toxic, biodegradable, and natural materials (Balonier et al., 2019). Usually, graves are marked by a native plant, natural rock, or plaque flush with the ground and the grave using GPS. To ensued conservation and preservation of the natural environment, green cemeteries limit or forbid personal plantings and the use of other decorations, including fags, wreaths, flowers, toys, balloons, and chimes.
The Green Burial Council stipulates various steps to minimize the negative environmental effects. They include skipping concrete vaults, fore-going of embalming, protection, and maintenance of natural habitat. Decisions are made at each phase of the death care process to limit waste, reduce carbon footprint, and nourish the local ecosystem. Often coffins, embalming, and vaults are costly, estimated to cost about $8500 (Fournier, 2018). Thus, scraping them off or replacing them with other options saves a lot of money while preserving the environment.
The extent of green burial is dependent on a person, and the process can only entail wrapping the body with cotton material before burial. Also, the process of green burial can be complicated, particularly when it involves a burial in a conservation park requiring the family members to plant a variety of shrubs, flowers, and plants on the grave or a memorial ceremony. Green burials are preferred because they are eco-friendly and less expensive than their counterparts (Fournier, 2018). A green burial avoids the use of extraneous cement and chemicals, steel, and other non-biodegradable materials used in normal burials. Also, it lacks the carbon footprint evident in cremation. Green burials are preferred because it feels better to bury the body by returning it to nature and participating in conventional burial. The funds are used to promote land restoration, protection, and management.
Green burials are recommended for various reasons, including eliminating hazardous chemicals, lowering costs, simplicity, preservation, and conservation of natural areas. Also, green burials should be adopted due to their low maintenance cost. Their use will lead to a dramatic reduction of cost while promoting conservation and promoting nature. Eco-cemeteries is an evolving solution to the increasing threats against biodiversity and the expanding and growing urban population across the globe. Thus, it can be concluded that the green burial movement reflects humans as an integral part of the natural cycle of life.
Balonier, A. K., Parsons, E., & Patterson, A. (2019). The unnaturalness of natural burials: dispossessing the dispossessed. Mortality, 24(2), 212-230.
Fournier, E. (2018). The Green burial guidebook: everything you need to plan an affordable, environmentally friendly burial. New World Library.