Green burials are gaining popularity with people of the mindset that even though their soul departs when they pass, their body remains here. Once they’ve gone, they’d rather have a positive impact on the environment. This article is the second in a 3-part series that outlines the range of options available for green burials. Continue reading to find out how you can play your part in saving the environment, even after you’ve passed on.
Tree Pod Burials
This type of burial has gained traction over the last few years as being the ultimate eco-friendly way to be buried. It involves being buried in an oval container that’s typically manufactured with biodegradable bio-polymer. The oval or “egg” container is eventually buried at the base of a tree or a tree is planted directly on top of it. The concept dictates that the body be placed in the fetal position, just like the state we’re born in. The idea is to provide nourishment to the tree and continue being a source of life, even after death.
A common issue though with this type of burial in North America is that you need a large plot to accommodate the planting and growth of a tree. Not only do trees grow large overtime, they also require space under the ground to allow their roots to spread. That’s why you’ll find specialized green burial cemeteries that have large tracts of open land available for tree pod burial.
In accordance with some religions, the deceased can be wrapped in a shroud and laid to rest straight into the ground. One can use a king-size cotton sheet if they’re looking for simplicity, or opt for more high-quality fabric if they have the budget to do so. Other fabrics include linen, muslin, felted wool, silk, or hemp. The fabric can be left plain or be painted for elaborate decoration. A common feature in shroud burial is making slots or pockets in which loved ones can insert mementos or items of sentimental value.
As is normal after death, the body releases fluids or liquids which can leak. To accommodate this issue, specific shrouds are designed to better control the situation. For those who don’t want to spend as much on a higher-priced shroud, they can use cotton fiber, wood, or absorbent disposable cloths, along with biodegradable plastic. A body covered in a shroud must have a wooden or rigid board behind it. This backing remains in the grave, so it too must be biodegradable.
The traditional method of being buried in a coffin may not be preferred by some, which is why they opt for cremation. It’s a more affordable way to pass through final rites and there’s no requirement of an ornate coffin or casket. You simply have to be taken to a crematorium. Once the deceased is cremated, the remains can be placed in a biodegradable urn, which can be placed in a crypt. However, some might find it more suitable to have the remains scattered in a scattering garden.
These three environmentally-conscious burial options are perfect for nature lovers and conservationists alike.