With the effects global warming and other natural disasters becoming more frequent, it is safe to say pollution has created a major crisis on our planet. Theses effect can be seen in the United State with the major cold front that has just pushed in from Canada over this past week. Scientist say weather patterns such as this will become more likely because of global warming. As an ecofriendly individual, I have taken the time to research many ecological ideas. Today I hope to persuade individuals to select green burials as an alternative burial option. A green burial or natural burial is the proper disposal of the deceased with as little carbon impact as possible to the natural environment. Green burials help conserve natural resources, produces little to no carbon emissions, aids in protecting the health of grave diggers, and restores and preserves the natural habitat. For the end-of-life ritual to be considered to be a “green burial,” there can be no usage of non-biodegradable or toxic materials. People who select to engage in green burials are laid to rest in materials such as: shrouds or biodegradable caskets and urns.
Why would a person select to be buried in such a manner, you ask? A green burial offers many positive affect upon the environment when compared to traditional burial methods. I would like to begin by saying that I do not consider any end-of-life method to be considered “wrong.” I only wish to advocate an alternative option to decrease to carbon footprint of our last act in the world. The act of embalming a loved on often includes the usage a chemical called formaldehyde. Formaldehyde poses a major threat to funeral directors and their funeral homes. In accordance to the National Cancer Institution, “funeral directors have a much higher incidence of myeloid leukemia.” Although embalming fluid does preserve the physical characteristic of a loved one, but after months in the grave the embalming fluid drastically decrease the decomposition rate of the body. Again I don’t wish to discredit any other form of burial. Green burials offer many positive aspects that aid the earth.
Why should someone choose to have a green burial? Earth has always intend to humans to return to the soil from which they came. In nature, nothing is wasted. Everything is recycled by billion upon trillions of tiny microorganisms that break down all waste matter. Natural burials also aid in the growth of native trees, wildflowers, and shrubs. These wild plants will bring about a whole new eco-system to the burial area that both plants and animals will benefit from. There is no water wasted on these grounds or harmful pesticides and herbicides because the area is left to grow naturally. Imagine the joy of being able to remember a loved one as a new tree that provides life to millions of organisms. Green burials are an ecofriendly way to leave a positive lasting impact upon the earth. In 2007 AARP conducted a study that showed, “1 in 5 American over the age of 50 have considered having a green burial ceremony.” Green burials is just one of many end-of-life rituals practiced all around the world.
Markoe, Lauren. “Green Burials Reflect Care for Earth, Family Finances.” Christian Century 131.4 (2014): 18-19. Academic Search Premier. Wed. 11 November 2014. Unknown. “Green Burials,…Return Naturally.” Green Burials,…Return Naturally. N.p., 17 Sept. 2008. Web. 11 Nov. 2014. Unknown. “Green Burial Council.” Green Burial Council. N.p., 18 May 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.