Your struggle for a cleaner and healthier environment can continue even after you pass away. Many environmentalists have been shifting away from making traditional funeral arrangements to making green arrangements instead. Here is how you can have a green funeral that will respect and protect the environment after your days on earth have come to an end.
A traditional funeral arrangement includes being embalmed to keep your body from deteriorating quickly. Embalming inhibits the natural biological process that takes place after organic beings pass away. If the natural biological process was allowed to take place, the body cells would continue to deteriorate, and the body will show signs of degradation and develop a highly unappealing odor while on display in a funeral home.
The problem with embalming is that the chemicals used to slow the biological process, specifically formaldehyde, is a known carcinogen. If you decide to be cremated and have your ashes spread outside, the ashes would include remnants of formaldehyde.
To avoid being responsible for the release of formaldehyde into the environment, your body will need to be cremated as soon as possible after death. This means you won't be able to have a viewing for those who love you to come and pay their last respects. In place of a traditional funeral arrangement, a memorial service would have to be performed to allow your loved ones to gather and mourn your loss with one another – which is the reason we have funerals.
You can choose to have an immediate burial in-lieu of being embalmed. In this case, your body will literally be returned to earth in a natural way that allows your body to be recycled by other living things.
You have to check your local municipal codes to see if this type of burial is allowed in your region. Many localities don't allow this kind of burial, because they are concerned about the spread of diseases if the burials aren't performed correctly. However, that is changing in some regions.
There are places that do allow you to be buried without being embalmed. The main issue is that your body may have to be transported great distances to reach these locations, and this could hamper your loved ones' ability to attend your burial services if you wanted to have something that approximated a traditional funeral arrangement.
There are a couple of options available to you if you don't want to have chemicals used on your body to prepare it for a traditional funeral viewing. You should talk to a professional funeral home about the options that satisfy your desire to stay green while providing an opportunity to for your loved ones to gather together to bid you farewell.