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Lower Your Carbon Footprint in the Next Life: What Is Green Cremation?

Green cremation is an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional cremation. Check out this guide to learn more about the process.
green cremation
Lower Your Carbon Footprint in the Next Life: What Is Green Cremation?

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Funerals are a costly venture that can often cause harm to the environment. It’s important to consider your body’s effect on the world around it even after you are gone, which is why more and more companies are offering green alternatives to our usual burial rituals. 

How can you make plans for after your death to ensure you aren’t harming the environment?

Green cremation is one of your many options for taking care of your body and the planet. Here is how green cremation works, as well as a few other options you can consider for a green burial.

How Green Cremation Works

A green cremation is a specific form of cremation that can be done in a few different ways. Bio-cremation is one way that you can have your remains cremated; the process involves potassium hydroxide and water to break down the body and reform it back into its original elements.

Another form of green cremation would be water cremation, otherwise known as alkaline hydrolysis. Alkaline compounds are combined with water rather than acids, then the resulting material it creates with your body is used as a fertilizer to nurture the soil. The remains from the process can be kept just like ashes left over after a regular cremation.

Regular Cremation vs. Green Cremation

You may be wondering how the cremation process can be harmful to the environment, and the answer is quite simple. Cremation involves burning the body to ashes with fire, which can emit toxic chemicals into the air. The furnaces also use up a great deal of energy, which further pollutes the air with greenhouse gasses. 

While there are new technologies that have helped make cremations more eco-friendly, they are still far from perfect. While you should still consider having your body cremated, you should consider its effect on the environment before making definite arrangements.

Burial vs. Green Cremation

Many people also don’t consider the environmental harm that comes from a traditional burial. The caskets that we are buried in are not only hard for the earth to break down over time, but the amount of trees that need to be cut down in order to create space for cemeteries is also astronomical. The physical properties necessary to create a cemetery are very exact, and any locations will be turned into cemetery plots if they can be.

A green cremation provides the same benefits as a regular cremation; your body won’t take up as much space and can even be used as fertilizer after the process. You also won’t need to worry about costly caskets or tombstones. 

Planning for a Green Cremation

When it comes to planning you and your family for a green cremation, you won’t have much to worry about. The arrangements you’ll need to make are similar to the traditional ceremony; depending on the wants of you and your loved ones, there are a variety of ways you can celebrate the life of the person who is being cremated.

Burial at Sea

For those who enjoyed their time out on the water, you may want to consider scattering their remains on the open sea or another body of water. That way, not only will their body rest in peace, but their remains can also nourish the wildlife in the area. 

Ceremony at Home

One major benefit of a green cremation is that you are not restricted to a funeral home or crematorium. You can easily perform a green cremation from the comforts of home as long as you have the proper clearance for it.

Gather your friends and family members somewhere where you can remember the deceased fondly and celebrate their life appropriately. After the ceremony finishes, you can choose what to do with the remains.

Aerial Scattering

Was your loved one a traveler at heart that loved to go from place to place? If so, you may want to consider an aerial scattering after their cremation. That way, their remains are not constrained to one place, and you can celebrate their love of traveling through a sentimental gesture.

Traditional Memorial Service

If you come from a more traditional family, then you may want to simply scatter their remains around a beloved location or keep them close in an urn. That way, you can visit them and remember them whenever you’d like.

A Service or Charity Event

For those loved ones who were generous beyond words, holding a charity event in their honor would be a wonderful way to remember their passing. This can be particularly lovely for those who were well known in their community before their passing and can allow more people to celebrate their life together.

Other Forms of Eco-Friendly Funeral Arrangements

Green cremation services aren’t the only way that you can ensure an eco-friendly burial after passing. There are quite a few other ways that you can aid the ecosystem and nurture the land around you.

Burial pods that allow your body to nourish a growing tree are one way to continue your life after you’ve passed. Your body will degrade and become fertilizer for a sapling; the roots of the tree grow into your pod so that they can use the soil and nutrients from your body to grow over time.

A similar process can also be done so that your body can nourish coral reefs. The body is first cremated and placed into a biodegradable ball before being planted in the ocean; corals and other sea life can grow around it, aiding in the growth of the ecosystem.

Planning Made Easy

Planning for the burial of you or a loved one may seem challenging, but with these new tactics, you can help maintain our planet for the future. That way, you can continue to help the world grow even after you are gone. 

Are you or a loved one considering green cremation? We’re here to help.

Contact us with any questions or concerns you might have about green cremation or water cremation and continue reading our blog for more information.

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Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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