You follow eco-conscious blogs, take your reusable bags to the market, and sip through your glass straws. You care about the planet you live on, so you do your best to keep it as healthy as possible. Collectively, society can change the world. What if people could also help the environment after they die? Find out just how that’s possible.
What Does It Mean To Die Sustainably?
Death isn’t something that most people frequently think about. However, it’s something that happens to everyone. You can live out your days saving the planet, but what happens once you can no longer serve the earth? Actually, you can continue to do so if you do a little planning. Eco-friendly burials are rising in popularity, and you can keep up with advancements by following the latest news in sustainable living. Here are some examples of earth-loving burials:
- Natural burials
- Scattering urns
- Biodegradable caskets
- Living urns
There are urns that can be planted in the earth, breaking down and adding to the soil. This way, you can live on through the earth, itself. You can even choose a plant, tree, or flower to grow atop your remains. This way of dying is beautiful and more eco-conscious than what humans are traditionally used to.
How Do Traditional Burials Impact the Earth?
Cemeteries that scatter the United States are mostly comprised of metal or wooden caskets. They take up a lot of space, and are either funded by the government, in-kind donations, or not at all. This is why there are so many unkempt graveyards that end up looking spooky and uninviting.
Additionally, the embalming process injects some serious chemicals into the body and, subsequently, the ground and water supply. Unless you opt for a massive, expensive containment, these chemicals seep into the soil. If the U.S. continues to rely on traditional cemeteries, space will run out, and the space that is used will be uninhabitable.
Are There Alternatives?
The solution is to find an alternative way of burial. There are already eco-friendly burial sites, such as natural burial forests and parks. However, these are few and far between as it stands. Cremation is becoming increasingly popular, meaning there will be more people looking for a different way of keeping their loved ones’ remains.
Furthermore, there are innovations that replace cremation. Cremation actually harms the environment, as well. The process uses mass amounts of energy and emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. There are new ways of decomposition breaking onto the scene, including:
- Body composting
Cryogenics and human composting are just a few of the other options. These alternatives to cremation have innovators working to streamline the processes. In fact, some have even made their way to the U.S. already. The issue is where to place these bodies that aren’t in the caskets society is used to seeing.
Can Cemeteries Change?
In other countries around the globe, people have already started to adopt a more modern approach to cemeteries. This can take away the taboo aspect of natural burials. The U.S. has a general aversion to dead bodies. The American culture doesn’t embrace death and, rather, tries to hide it. How can this change?
It doesn’t necessarily have to. Funding a modern burial park network could be the key to changing the way the United States does death. Envision a burial park as an urban park with tech to locate grave markers. These grave markers will look futuristic, and they will likely be near trees, flowers, or even art installations instead of headstones.
Sustainable dying doesn’t have to be highly visible. In fact, it can be more aesthetically pleasing than a traditional burial. It just depends on how you look at it. If you live sustainably, it’s time to look into how you can honor the earth even after death. What is there to lose?