While other sites and individuals are celebrating the planet today by promoting recycling and reduction of gas emissions, here we’ve decided to share some green burial options.
While the majority of the world doesn’t like to talk about death, some of us here do. In fact, we frequently post about death positivity because we’re all going to die someday. And surprisingly, death is an industry that has been filling our ground with toxic chemicals, plastic, fiberglass, and even concrete. Not to mention that traditional caskets take up limited resources energy that could be going into something else.
The Green Burial Options
1. Tree Pods
The beautiful concept behind a tree pod is that a person’s remains are placed within a biodegradable pod. This pod is placed in the ground and a tree sapling is planted right above it. As the tree grows, its roots will draw nourishment from the pod, meaning that the body of a loved one or yourself will then go on to provide life for the tree. Many see this as a way of almost living on within the tree. Unfortunately right now this is primarily just a concept as the designers of this project are from Italy and this method of burial is not allowed there as of yet.
2. Wooden Urns
An undecorated wooden urn is considered biodegradable but can still look elegant. If you are considering cremation and don’t wish to spread your loved one’s ashes, this may be the green option for you. Another thought is that wooden urns can be carved into a variety of shapes.
A burial shroud is a cloth or sheet used to cover and wrap up the deceased before they are buried. This shroud will then decompose with the body in the ground. This option is perfect for those who have always wanted to embody their inner mummy.
4. Wooden Caskets
Like wooden urns, wooden caskets are also considered green because of their biodegradability. By choosing a green cemetery, a loved one can be buried in a casket that’s not contained within a concrete lining. With time, their remains will return to the earth.
5. Woven Caskets
Wicker caskets can be made out of a number of materials such as bamboo, wicker, seagrass, sugar cane, banana leaves, or willow. You can get them plain, or more intricately designed. I tend to think of woven caskets as the fancy persons alternative to wood, because they’re exceptionally beautiful and unique.
6. Cardboard Containers
While You can get cardboard urns (generally temporary for before the scattering-they also make paper or fiber urns), people tend to be most intrigued by cardboard caskets. Beyond a quick decay time, if you get a cardboard casket you could consider having a memorial activity be the decorating of the casket. Just make sure to leave some money for family to buy art supplies. On a real note though, decorating the casket could be really meaningful activity for your family…. If you plan on going with cardboard do check your local cemetery first. There are cemeteries that won’t accept it, and some may have very specific rules and regulations, so make sure you do your homework before your grieving family ends up with a dead you, a cardboard coffin and a cemetery that refuses burial.
7. Seed Urns
Similar to the idea of the tree burial pod, there are many companies with tree or flower growing cremation urns. One of the most popular is The Living Urn which is cute and practical.
Although not nearly as harmful for the environment, you can also choose to opt for a “Greener” grave marker choices including rocks, flowers (or other plants) and some cemeteries even employ GPS to mark the graves instead of having a physical marker. Now, keeping it real, I love going to old graveyards and seeing the headstones, but if you’re planning on an at-home-in-the-backyard-type-of-burial, you might want to keep things a little simpler.
Whatever you do remember that life is short, death is real and imminent for all of use and you might as well go green while going out.