Green Burial Blog
help us spread the word about green burial so we all share in protecting our environment.
The dangers of climate change are becoming more and more clear, and its effects on our planet are becoming more frequent, from bigger storms to more damaging forest fires. States like California, Texas, and Colorado are no strangers to the massive impacts of wildfires. With these impacts on our environment, people are looking for ways to help protect our planet for future generations; one of those ways is through green burials.
What is a Green Burial?
A green, or natural burial is when someone is buried using sustainable, biodegradable materials. The body is wrapped with a cloth shroud and is simply placed directly into the ground. Traditional burials use chemicals to preserve the body, the body is placed in a casket, the casket is placed in a burial vault, and the cemetery uses resources to maintain the appearance of the grounds – all of which can have a significant impact on the environment. A green burial bypasses all of these harmful materials, chemicals, and practices and allows the body to return to nature and become a part of the earth.
What Are the Greenest Ways to be Buried?
Use a Biodegradable Shroud
Even though our clothes will degrade far faster than many other products, like water bottles, synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, and spandex can still take 20 to 200 years to decompose. If you’re interested in a natural burial in order to protect our environment, you will want to be buried in materials that can break down faster and are made of natural fibers. Common natural fibers used in green burials are cotton, hemp, linen, and silk. These materials can be used as a shroud in which the body is wrapped.
Don’t Use Embalming Fluids
After someone dies, the body is preserved using a combination of chemicals. Embalming fluids consist of formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, methanol, humectants, and other solvents that prevent the body from decomposing so that there can be a funeral service. The service is typically held within a week after death. In a natural burial, there is no chemical use and the body is buried within a few days after passing. This prevents the chemicals from leaching into the soil for years after the burial.
Forego the Casket, or Use Sustainable Materials
Although caskets are not a common practice for natural burials, they can provide a type of comfort for those wanting a burial that in some way resembles a traditional service. In traditional burials, caskets are commonly made of treated wood with metal fasteners and varnishes or stains (chemicals) to give them a high-end appearance. These can be harmful to the soil and take significantly longer to decompose. There are also metal caskets, which do not decompose at all. For a natural burial, you can choose a casket that is made of hemp, untreated wicker, bamboo, willow, or even cardboard.
Find a Natural Burial Plot Instead of a Cemetery
Natural burial plots are areas where nature is given the opportunity to thrive on its own. There may be some management of the land, but only minimal work is done and sustainable, natural methods are used to keep the area safe and protected. Cemeteries, on the other hand, require significant maintenance to keep the property well maintained. This can be done through the use of fertilizers, excessive watering, grass mowing, and more.
What is THE Greenest Way to be Buried?
If you’re truly looking for a 100% natural burial, there will be as few materials as possible. Your body will simply be wrapped in a biodegradable shroud and placed directly into the ground where the land is allowed to thrive naturally.
Choose EverAfterly For a Green Burial in California
EverAfterly is passionate about preserving the land and protecting our environment for future generations. Our natural burial plots are essentially nature preserves that are beautifully restored using sustainable land management practices.
Morgan Oaks Eternal Preserve is located in Placer County, and is a beautiful space filled with trees, natural grasses, and wildflowers. When you choose EverAfterly, you’ll get GPS coordinates for your plot so that family members and friends can locate your body and visit you just like a traditional cemetery. If you’re looking for a natural way to be buried, our team is here to help you find your perfect final resting place. Get in touch with our team today to learn more.