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Live Green, Even in Death, With A Green Burial

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By Jeffrey

Recently, a good friend of mine lost his son in a car accident. His son was right about my age and we had spent some significant time together as well.

My friend chose to have his son cremated, but I have long wanted to have a simple, cheap, and green burial…when my existence in this physical body ends.

There has recently been lots of talk on various sites and blogs about having green burials. Though death is often uncomfortable to talk about for many people, a green burial can be even more comforting than traditional western burials.

Permit me to switch gears for a moment?

My wife and I have our own business with a European health and wellness company. The company slogan is “pure, safe, and beneficial”. If they can’t make it pure, safe, and beneficial, they don’t make it at all.

At a training I was recently attending to learn more about our vitamin power packs, I was surprised to find a master herbalist as the facilitator. Wow, impressive.

In this training she noted that she is acquainted with a mortician who recently informed her that morticians are now able to use 40% less embalming fluid then they once required.

Why? Because we’re embalming ourselves!!

Keep that in mind as you read the following excerpts.


What Is A Green Burial?

Well one site I found describes it as:

“A green burial will typically ban the use of embalming fluids (or at least require alternatives), vaults, conventional markers, and metal caskets. Green burial sites are often located in meadows and wooded areas that do not require constant maintenance, and the clear-cutting of trees. A Tree Burial is one type of green burial in which the body is laid to rest under a newly planted tree.

That same site went on to say:

“It is estimated that the more than 22,500 cemeteries across the Unites States bury 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid every year. Embalming fluids can include chemicals and additives like formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, phenol, methanol, antibiotics, dyes, anti-edemic chemicals, and disinfectant chemicals. These substances eventually find their way into the soil where they can contaminate the local water supplies. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers Formaldehyde as a Class 1 Carcinogen.”

Could you imagine the comfort that could come for your loved ones if your body was buried in a green way?

Personally, I believe that our existence and our life continues beyond the limitations of this physical container that we call a body. Regardless of what you believe about life, imagine being able to provide your loved ones the comfort in their grief of being able to visit your body’s resting place situated in a field of flowers, under your favorite tree, under a newly planted tree, or some other peaceful location.

More than that, your body could be buried in a simple pine box or even a biodegradable cardboard coffin, so that your family may know that the nutrients and the energy that makes up your physical body may now be assimilated back into the earth…from whence they came.

Do you think that is a more beautiful picture than being locked up in a metal coffin and place in a metal vault?


The Benefits Of A Green Burial

So, what are the benefits of a green burial?

Here’s a brief summary:

  • Cost-effective for your loved ones
  • Provides more comfort in grief
  • Assimilates your physical body back into nature
  • Inspires others to do the same

For more reading on green burials, check out the Green Burial Council and this National Geographic article.