Every single person leaves a huge carbon footprint on the Earth. From the car you drive to the bottled water that you drink, everyone contributes to the planet's ruin slowly but surely. Why would you want to continue to do the same thing after death?
Stop and consider a traditional burial. Someone dies. They are embalmed. They are placed in a lavish casket fully dressed with jewelry, pillows, plush fabric lining and mementos from their life. All of that is then buried in the ground.
But the ecological impact of these traditional burials is astounding. Across 22,500 U.S. cemeteries, this is what is placed into the Earth:
- 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid, which includes formaldehyde
- 90,000 tons of steel, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze, 30+ million board feet of hardwood from caskets
- 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete and 14,000 tons of steel from burial vaults.
This is being put into the ground EVERY YEAR!
It is about time that alternatives are considered.
- Cremation – Cremation is the go-to alternative to traditional burial. Crematoriums use high temperature burning, vaporization, and oxidation to reduce human bodies to ash.
- Funeral Diamonds – There is something unique and heartwarming and a little creepy about turning your body into a precious stone, but it is something that you can do now. The gem can be made from either a lock of hair or ashes. This way, you could always be a part of future generations—your great-granddaughter's engagement ring, the necklace your great-great-great-grandniece wears for her college graduation. The possibilities are endless.
- Space Burial – Don't want your ashes to sit on someone's fireplace mantel for eternity? Consider having them shot into outer space (or deep space if you want to pay the cost).
- Coral Reef – You can turn yourself (well, your ashes) into a coral reef that will provide a new habitat for numerous sea creatures. You can even combine your remains with a spouse or deceased pet to make a bigger reef to house the ocean life.
But all of these use ashes. There are options if you don't want cremation.
- Tree Pods – Your local cemetery could be full of trees instead of tombstones. Choose to be buried in a tree pod – your remains will decompose and provide food and nutrients that help the tree to grow.
- Natural Burial – Burial without embalming fluid or a steel casket allows natural decomposition to take place. Bodies are wrapped in a shroud and placed in a biodegradable casket.
If you want to be useful after death, consider donating your body to science. You will eventually be cremated and your ashes returned to your family after a month or two.
There are a lot of options for people looking for an alternative to traditional burials or even cremations. Consider doing something that is a little more environmentally-friendly.
To learn more, contact a company like Affordable Burial & Cremation.