Improving Your Relationship With Your Kids

A Bit About Green Funerals

by Marianka Van Veenen

There are as many different types of funerals as there are religions and customs. There may be more, actually, as many customs allow for different ways to deal with death. In the U.S., the most common funeral services involve either burial/interment of the deceased, or cremation. Generally, there is some type of viewing of the body by friends and loved ones before the body is put to rest. While it may be very difficult to process what is happening and what you want to happen when a loved one has died, you do have options. One option that is generally not often mentioned is a green funeral. A green funeral is a great way of taking care of the earth and the environment while still giving respect to the deceased. Here is some information about green funerals.

No Chemicals

In the normal course of a funeral, the body will be embalmed so it will remain "fresh" for a viewing. This process involves toxic chemicals. During the embalming process, some of these chemicals get washed down a drain where they end up in a water treatment plant for your drinking water. The treatment plant does not necessarily remove the chemicals from the water, meaning you are going to be drinking and bathing in them. In addition, the chemicals will seep into the ground where they can cause harm and injury to animals in the area.

No Metal or Cement

Metals and cement do not disintegrate or decay. Once placed in the ground, they are there to stay. Using grave liners and metal caskets may seem like a good idea when you are thinking about people being able to visit the grave for many years. However, they also take up a lot of space. When you use a simple shroud or a simple wood casket, everything is biodegradable and can help the soil while leaving room for others to be buried in the far future. Your loved one will truly become one with the world instead of a pile of bones in a metal casket, just sitting there for eternity.

You may choose how much of a green funeral you want, but you may need to find a funeral home and cemetery that allow for the treatment you want. Having a loved one die is heartbreaking and very emotional. You should be able to have the type of funeral and handling of the remains you are most comfortable with.