Saving the environment has become the necessity because of global warming and many other harmful effects on the environment caused by human activities. Many eco-friendly products are being made to lessen the burden on the environment. Similarly,the concept of green funerals has also gained popularity in the recent years. Green funerals conserve natural resources reduce carbon footprint and protect the health of the industry workers. Altogether, there is little or no impact on the environment due to green funerals.
What Are the Various Aspects of Green Funerals?
The main features of green funerals have been listed below.
- Harmful embalming chemicals are not used on the body.
- Biodegradable caskets are used for the burial.
- Burial takes place in a natural setting with no conventional headstones to mark the grave.
- Green cemetery is used for burial.
· Green Caskets
Green caskets refer to those caskets which are made of easily decomposable materials. These are biodegradable caskets which mix with the soil after decomposition without adding any toxin. Green caskets have no metal parts and are not treated with chemicals as is the case with conventional caskets which decompose slowly and have a harmful effect on the environment.
The materials commonly used to make green caskets are willow, bamboo, teak, hemp, banana leaf, sea grass, organic cotton, rattan, recycled cardboard, organic wool, cork, etc.
People can also forgo a casket altogether and simply wrap the body in a cotton shroud for burial. This is even more beneficial for the environment.
If funeral services do not stock the green casket, they can ask the deceased person’s family members to arrange for it. Green caskets can also be ordered from various online stores dealing in this type of casket.
· Green Cemeteries
Green cemeteries are those cemeteries which conserve the natural resources and have a minimum impact on the environment. Green cemeteries do not allow the construction of outer burial vaults and grave liners. Bodies embalmed using chemicals are also not allowed to be buried in green cemeteries. The caskets which can be buried in green cemeteries are required to be made of natural materials only. Other kinds of caskets are not allowed in the cemetery.
Green cemeteries also use natural methods for pest control and general maintenance of the landscape. Chemical pesticides and herbicides are not used in green cemeteries. Altogether, any and every material used in a green cemetery must not harm the environment.
· Green Grave Markers
Conventional headstones and grave markers are not allowed in green funerals.Instead, natural materials are used to mark the graves. Natural materials include engraved rocks or stones, shrubs, flowers, trees and plants. Trees and plants indigenous to the area are popular natural choices of grave markers. Indigenous species of plants and trees do not require much maintenance as they are well suited to the environment.
Modern technology has also enabled the use of Global Positioning System or GPS to mark the graves. This method is used by some cemeteries.
· Nontoxic Chemicals for Embalming the Dead Body
One of the principal requirements for a green funeral is that the body must not be embalmed using harmful chemicals. Embalming uses a fluid which contains formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen which increases the risk of cancer in workers who are exposed to this chemical on a regular basis. Embalming fluids made of essential oils are now being used as a green alternative to conventional embalming fluids. These fluids do not have an adverse effect on the health of the workers. So, green funeral is the best way to pay respect to the deceased loved one w with minimal environmental impact.