At Cremation.Green we think a lot about how we impact local environments in Texas. We’re also concerned about how our actions can have a ripple effect that affects environments around the world. The impact could be positive or negative, and we always strive to have a net positive effect.
In an effort to create positive change in the funeral industry, we’ve gone to great lengths to develop the most eco-friendly death care services possible. Even flame cremation is better for the environment when Cremation.Green is controlling the retort.
But our team doesn’t just focus on making funeral services greener. We are continuously looking for opportunities that allow us to offset our impact even further in meaningful ways that make a difference in people’s lives. Our pursuit of environmental excellence led us to an organization called Sustainable Harvest International.
Keep reading to learn about how Cremation.Green is partnering with Sustainable Harvest International to restore forests around the world.
Partnering With Sustainable Harvest International to Plant a Tree for Every Family
When we learned about Sustainable Harvest International we knew we’d found a partner we wanted to work with. Sustainable Harvest International is an environmental non-profit that does work around the globe. Their mission is to help restore ecosystems and train small scale farmers around the world who inadvertently have contributed to 30-40% of deforestation.
Cutting down trees isn’t bad just because it alters the natural ecosystem and destroys habitats. Just as bad is the fact that it contributes to an increase in carbon emissions. Fewer trees means more carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere doing damage.
The great thing is Sustainable Harvest International doesn’t just plant trees and call it a day. They also work with farmers to provide continued support, training and long-term environmental recovery. By doing so, Sustainable Harvest International is addressing one of the main contributors of deforestation that is making climate change worse every year.
There’s great need for this kind of work. As Sustainable Harvest International and other forest restoration organizations note:
- Half the world’s rainforests have been deforested.
- If things don’t change, in 100 years rainforests could be completely gone.
- Deforestation results in around 4.8 billion tons of carbon emissions annually.
- Each tree sequesters 22 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
- Agriculture, mining and urbanization are leading causes of deforestation.
At this point, forest restoration must happen or we risk doing untold damage to the environment. With each passing year more hectares of trees are removed. If we are going to correct the problem, we have to be planting trees and revitalizing the environment just as quickly. Families that choose Cremation.Green will feel good knowing they get to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
Where Are Trees Planted?
Sustainable Harvest International partners with organizations around the world to plant trees where they are needed the most. They tend to focus their efforts on areas where indigenous people have been marginalized or smallholder farmers use slash-and-burn agriculture techniques as well as regions where deforestation has devastated the land.
So far we’ve had trees planted for families everywhere from Oregon to the Philippines to Uganda where the Albertine Rift forests are being restored. Whenever the goal is reforestation, local native trees are planted to replace what has been cut down.
The truth is, deforestation is a serious issue around the world. We’re losing acres upon acres of forest at record rates, and the U.S. funeral industry is a major part of the problem.
Doing More to Lower the Impact Funerals Have on Forests
Even the greenest funeral services are still going to have some sort of impact on the environment. Traditional burial and cremation services are known to be very harmful. It’s a fact of life, that when we die we’ll leave one more mark on the world we left.
More funeral homes should be working with organizations like Sustainable Harvest International because death care services have a majorly negative impact on forests. Planting a tree for each family we serve is one more way we can help counter the negative environmental impact of the funeral industry. Below are a few ways that the funeral industry is contributing to the issue.
Lumber That’s Used to Make Caskets
Many people are shocked to discover how much lumber is needed to make caskets for traditional burials. In total, over 30 million board feet of hardwood is used to construct caskets that go in the ground almost immediately. That means nearly 40,000 trees must be cut down.
Land Needed for Burial Means Less Trees
There’s another related environmental cost of burial that involves the loss of trees. Creating a cemetery means completely clearing the land of vegetation, including many mature trees. The more cemeteries expand, the more trees will be cut down. It’s the exact opposite of green burial at a conservation site where graves are in between trees, marked only with a natural stone arrangement.
Beyond helping the environment, planting trees is a way for disadvantaged communities to thrive and connect. With each tree that’s planted, more people in the local community are benefiting and doing more on their own to help the environment return to what it once was in their areas. Simply raising awareness about how regions have been impacted by deforestation helps to mitigate the problem.
If you’d like to know more about the additional benefits of choosing our green funeral services, please contact us whenever it’s most convenient for you. We’re available by phone, text or email.