Interested in green funeral options? Many aspects of a traditional funeral are far from eco-friendly. The coffin alone can require a lot of energy and natural resources to create. Once it’s placed in the ground many of those materials won’t decompose and may even pollute the surrounding area.
Today, green end of life services offer an alternative that focuses on less. Less pollution, less energy use and less waste. Green services like clean direct cremation eliminate all of the unnecessary extras that inflate the cost and impact of traditional funerals.
If you’re considering a green funeral it’s important to cut through misconceptions and understand what differentiates this type of service from a regular funeral.
Green Burial Services May Not Be Available in Your Area
A recent study from the National Funeral Directors Association found that 72% of cemeteries have had an increase in inquiries about green funerals. Although it isn’t a new concept and demand is growing, green funerals are far from being the norm. So the first thing to understand is that it may be difficult to have a truly green funeral in some places.
If you live in a small community with limited options, a green funeral home like Green Cremation Texas might be your best option. Cremation allows for more flexibility in location. Funeral home professionals can travel to your location, transport the deceased and perform the cremation at the crematorium, which can be hours away. Once the cremation is complete the remains can be delivered to the family.
Some Green Funeral Services Are Greener Than Others
Just because a service is marketed as green doesn’t mean that it is actually more eco-friendly than a traditional burial. For instance, cremation that involves embalming for a viewing is far from the greenest option. Any funeral home that pushes the service doesn’t prioritize environmental concerns.
Here are a few tips for assessing how green a funeral home is:
- Look for a funeral home that has a history of providing green alternatives, like cremation only or simple pine caskets that are designed to naturally breakdown over time.
- When you reach out to a funeral home ask them to provide details about what the services entail, specifically the steps that are taken to minimize environmental impact.
- The ultimate goal of the funeral home’s green services should be taking precautions with the purpose of protecting the local environment.
Today, there are some creative ways that funeral homes are going green. Eco-friendly funeral services even have the potential to improve the quality of soil and encourage the growth of new plants. That’s a huge turn around from traditional burials that remove vegetation.
Embalming Isn’t Necessary
Many people assume embalming is a standard part of the process before cremation or burial. The truth is it isn’t needed. It’s essentially a cosmetic step that’s done for viewings.
Embalming fluid is a mixture of chemicals that can preserve a body for up to a few weeks. The biggest problem with embalming fluid is it’s a carcinogen that can contaminate the soil. The most harmful ingredient is formaldehyde.
As noted above, there are green end of life services that skip the embalming all together. It’s possible to have a green burial or direct cremation without using a drop of embalming fluid. Even if you plan to have a viewing refrigeration or frozen gel packs can preserve the body instead.
Green Funeral Costs Can Be Lower Than Traditional Services . . . Or Basically the Same
A funeral is an extremely personal affair for the family. No two funerals are ever exactly alike. That’s why it’s hard to nail down how much a funeral will cost at the beginning of the process. At Green Cremation Texas, we offer all-inclusive services for a single price. This makes a large portion of the funeral costs easy to estimate.
However, if the family wants to use the ashes in a special way, get a custom urn or hold a memorial service those costs can be hard to predict at times. They can also make the total cost similar to a traditional funeral or cremation with services. Whether or not a green funeral will cost less all depends on the selections made by the family.
The more aware the general public becomes the wider spread green funeral services will be. The growing interest should also encourage more innovation that leads to additional services like alkaline hydrolysis. If you have questions about green funeral services we’re happy to provide more information. Give us a call or email today!