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2 Questions To Ask A Funeral Director About Green Burial Practices When Money Is Tight

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When a death has occurred, life insurance is often expected to provide for all of the final expenses and see to the needs of the family members. Unfortunately, for many Americans, that is not an option since as recently as 2010, about 4 out of 10 people had no life insurance. Of the individuals who did have some type of life insurance at that time, almost half did not have enough life insurance to cover all of their final expenses and support their family, if the worst were to happen.

Therefore, assuming that a burial and not cremation is chosen, it is crucial to plan an affordable funeral or memorial. It is time to ask the funeral director some important questions about the possibility of making affordable, eco-friendly final arrangements.

#1-Ask About A Green Funeral To Save Some Green

The casket and embalming are often two of the most expensive aspects of any funeral or memorial. However, you may not know that neither are mandatory and they are not good for the planet. For instance, embalming contains toxic chemicals and steel caskets will never biodegrade.

Instead, every state allows you to skip embalming and you can choose to use a shroud for burial. Burial shrouds are biodegradable, affordable and in 2013, there were already 37 burial grounds that accept them throughout 23 states and British Columbia.

#2-How Important Are The Materials Used For The Casket?

If a burial shroud does not appeal to you or if you do not live near a cemetery that allows them, a casket obviously becomes necessary. A common misconception is that a plain, pine box is always the least expensive choice. Although a pine box is significantly less expensive than its counterparts that are made of stainless steel, mahogany or bronze, it can still be more expensive than a coffin made of alternative materials.

It may be helpful to note that you are not alone when searching for alternatives to standard coffins. You can find caskets that are made of strong, natural fibers like the stems or leaves of coconut palms and even some parts of pine. Organic or natural cotton are commonly used within the caskets.

In addition to those choices, about 10% of all coffins sold today are made of alternative materials, including:

  • Wool

  • Wicker

  • Bamboo,

  • Recycled Paper

In conclusion, if you are planning a green funeral and are concerned about the expenses, the funeral director is usually the best person to speak with. He or she can suggest ways to pinch pennies for an eco-friendly service, without sacrificing the quality of the funeral or sullying the memories of your loved one.