Green burials | Living Green | Indy Week
Pin It

Green burials 

Dust to dust

click to enlarge living_green.jpg

This Memorial Day, Americans will flock to cemeteries to honor fallen service members and other loved ones. However, cemeteries are also the site of mass pollution, with almost a million gallons of embalming fluid and enough steel to build the Golden Gate Bridge interred each year.

A small but growing segment of the population is rebelling against these practices. As part of the larger green movement, more people are practicing green burials. These burials focus on minimizing the ecological impact of death by using eco-friendly materials and by incorporating burial sites in natural settings.

Green burials can be done in coffins of untreated wood, wicker and bamboo, or by simply wrapping the deceased in a shroud of linen or silk. All of these materials will break down and replenish soil. Artificial embalming is discouraged, as are non-degradable building materials, such as the steel and concrete often used in traditional burials.

Burial sites can include forests and other natural areas, as the remains cause less disturbance to ecosystems. Land preservation is a serious challenge for environmentalists, and this is one way to combat overdevelopment.

After spending your life biking to work, compulsively recycling and buying local food, why spend money on tons of concrete and embalming fluids that hurt your local environment? Fortunately, it is also cheaper to be buried in a green fashion (though it is, however, difficult to say by how much, as funeral costs vary widely).

It may seem strange, but one-fifth of AARP members in a 2007 poll said that a more eco-friendly burial appealed to them. The rise in green burials is paired with a growth in people choosing cremation, a similarly less harmful burial alternative.

As America's funereal environmental ethic continues to turn green, more people are saying, "Polluting? Not over my dead body."

More info: www.greenburials.org and www.greenburialcouncil.org

More by Matthew McGibney

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Living Green



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

After a lot of hard work and dedication by Citizenre senior staff, Citizenre closed on $20 million in financing (

by ltaylor on Rent the sun's power (Living Green)

ROBOTICALLY GROW SOLAR `~'

Very large solar capacity will have to be mass produced by robotic assembly lines HERE …

by fireofenergy on Form a sun bloc at solar energy discussion (Living Green)

Raleigh, N.C. – Multiple activities over a four day celebration will mark Earth Day 2010 at Cameron Village Shopping Center, …

by Pat Hunnell on Celebrate Earth Day (Living Green)

Ten great pledges. But there's no need to have a compost pile that's slimey or stinky. No need to turn …

by Frank Hyman on Ten eco-pledges for the New Year (Living Green)

Great list, Lisa. Everybody should do this.

Just a note: As to the disposal of CFLs, I read somewhere …

by SC Harrison on Ten eco-pledges for the New Year (Living Green)

Comments

After a lot of hard work and dedication by Citizenre senior staff, Citizenre closed on $20 million in financing (

by ltaylor on Rent the sun's power (Living Green)

ROBOTICALLY GROW SOLAR `~'

Very large solar capacity will have to be mass produced by robotic assembly lines HERE …

by fireofenergy on Form a sun bloc at solar energy discussion (Living Green)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation