When planning for your future funeral arrangements, you'll be happy to learn that there are eco-friendly options available. One way that many people choose to "green" their burial process is by selecting cremation over in-ground burial. But if you have your heart set on in-ground burial or if you belong to a faith that believes in in-ground burial rather than cremation, you can still make a difference by selecting eco-friendly options for your in-ground burial experience. Here are four ways you can go about it.
1. Forgo the grave liner
Choosing an unlined grave can not only reduce the amount of nonrenewable resources used on your funeral, but it also minimizes the number of layers preventing the natural biodegradation process. This allows remains to come in contact with the soil more quickly rather than inhibiting the natural progression. However, you may need to shop around a bit for a cemetery that will allow you to skip the grave liner. Many cemeteries prefer to use concrete grave liners or vaults to prevent the sagging of the ground that can eventually occur otherwise (due to the amount of empty space inside the coffin, which eventually allows the ground to settle a bit more).
2. Use biodegradable options
Using a metal casket or coffin is a common option, but one that you may decide against if you're going for an "Earth-friendly" theme. The reasons for this are similar to those for opting out of a concrete grave liner; metal is a valuable non-renewable resource and it's relatively non-biodegradable. In today's market, with an increasing number of people choosing to make their last resting place a more natural and eco-friendly one, there are a number of attractive and functional alternatives. Willow wands, unfinished pine wood, bamboo, and even rugged cardboard all make for serviceable caskets and are often more affordable as well.
3. Choose no embalming
Although it will mean that the funeral service will have to be held as soon as possible, you may wish to also forgo the embalming process with the goal of interring as few chemicals as possible. Be sure to discuss this with your chosen funeral home beforehand in order to make sure it won't be an issue.
4. Consider a "natural burial"
If you decide in favor of all the options above, you may be a great candidate for what's known as a "natural burial." In addition to using no grave liners or embalming fluid and choosing biodegradable caskets, these types of funerals are held at special cemeteries that often use shallow graves dug by hand, encourage the natural biodegrading process, and eventually re-use gravesites.
These four options can help you make your funeral as Earth-friendly as you like, while still allowing for the seriousness, ceremony, and tradition of an in-ground burial.
For a funeral home, contact an organization such as Rose's Funeral Home Inc.