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Eco-Friendly Burials: Saving the Planet From the Grave

Forest floor with tree stump, angel statue and candle, framed with the name of article and the author.

Eco-Friendly Burials: Saving the Planet From the Grave

From clothes and kitchens to food and travel, the world has been looking into every aspect of human life to find ways to reduce our impact on the Earth and combat climate change. Now, some people are even looking past life and into death. 

Natural burials, otherwise known as green burials, have been growing in popularity in several countries, and offer a sustainable alternative to the traditional memorial service. In fact, over half of Americans are now considering this eco-friendly replacement as they plan for their death. 

Green burials aim to minimise the negative environmental effects of funerals by, for example, eliminating the chemical-rich embalming process, and replacing headstones with trees. This type of service is not only more cost-efficient and natural, but it also allows people to maintain their legacy in a unique manner, whilst helping the earth. 

A simple way to achieve a green burial is through the redesign of the coffin. A coffin used in a natural burial may instead be constructed out of eco-friendly materials that will biodegrade quickly, without harming the landscape. This includes willow, pine, bamboo, and even banana leaves. 

And so, in finding comfort by the thought of their bodies returning to nature, many people have been seeking out spaces of natural beauty for their final resting place, which allows the land they lie on to become protected ground for future generations. Known as conservation burials, conservation principles are employed to support sustainable management principles, whilst protecting the integrity of the land. 

It is no wonder then why eco burials have become so popular, and why other eco alternatives for funerals have also increased in use. For example, Eternal Reefs use the cremated remains of a deceased individual as part of an environmentally safe cement mixture that is used to form artificial reef formations. Therefore, through death, individuals can aid the creation of new habitat for marine life to thrive. 

Another green burial option is known as the Mushroom Death Suit, where the deceased is dressed in a crocheted pattern suit, made from organic cotton and specially cultivated mushroom material. The suit effectively acts as the roots from which fungi can grow from your body, and the process purifies the body and the soil around it of any toxins. Believe it or not, the suit leaves the earth cleaner than it was found. 

Natural burials are a unique alternative to funeral services that offer family members a chance to help the earth, whilst providing them comfort in the knowledge that the deceased will return to nature. 

What do you think about eco-friendly burials? Is it something you've ever considered for yourself or your loved ones? Let us know in the comments below!

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