Eco Friendly Burials

An eco-friendly burial aims to minimize environmental damage and help save natural resources. Alternatively known as a green burial or just a natural burial, the emphasis is on simplicity and long-term viability. Cremation, chemical preparation, or a concrete vault are all out of the question in a conventional green burial. 

The process takes place with the deceased body buried in a biodegradable tank to let it decay completely and return to the natural world when it is no longer needed. Below are some environmentally friendly burials and alternative ways to keep a burial as "green" as possible.

5 Eco-friendly burial options

Aquamation: Our favorite green burial option

It is impossible to find any form of interment like aquamation, also known as alkaline hydrolysis cremation, resomation, flameless cremation, or bio cremation. The body is submerged in a stainless steel vessel filled with 95% water, 5 percent potassium hydroxide, or sodium hydroxide solution. An alkaline solution and temperatures of 350 degrees Fahrenheit combined to produce the body's dissolution. It could take weeks, to several years, to do this in a natural stream, but just around 20 hours in a pod.

It's all that's left at the end: a white pearly powder ground up and distributed to the person's family and friends. Fourteen US states, including California, where it was made lawful in 2017, and three Canadian provinces permit the unique technique. Compared to regular cremation, this method releases just one-fifth of carbon dioxide. 

For a cremation, you will pay on average around $1500. On the other hand, for aquamation, you will spend on average around $2000, which is cheaper than a traditional burial that usually ranges from $9000. As you can see, an eco burial doesn't have to be more expensive than the traditional methods.

The mushroom burial suit

Mushrooms are one of the most popular foods among humans. Founder and inventor of Coeico, Jae Rhim Lee, has found an alternative use for mushrooms. "Ninja pajamas" containing spores of unique mushrooms have been designed by her to fit and finally devour a deceased body. She claims that the mushrooms have been specifically taught to feed on the remains of the deceased.

Cremation and other methods of body disposal release poison from the deceased's body into the atmosphere. Mycoremediation is a process through which mushrooms absorb and purify harmful poisons, leaving the planet a cleaner place than they originally found it.

According to Lee, the nutrients from the body are transferred to a complex web of soil fungus by mushrooms after the tissue has been broken down. As a result, your final act may be to donate your body to the forest, where it will be used to nourish the trees. Even though "devoured by mushrooms" isn't exactly how people envisioned ending their days, it's an alternative concept for those who are environmentally conscious.

For this type of green burial, costs range around $1500 for a mushroom suit. If you want a pouch for your pet, just $200 will be enough.

Body farms

William Bass, an anthropologist, was interested in studying how bodies decay in nature in the early 1970s. A "farm" allowing forensic anthropologists to explore a wide range of corpse decomposition situations was built using donated cadavers. When a corpse dies in the marsh, what is it like to see it decay? What good is it if maggots consume it? Crows?

The largest body farm in the United States is located on the Freeman Ranch at Texas State University. The "microbial clock," a procedure by which the precise moment of death may be determined by investigating the postmortem microbiome, has been greatly facilitated by the corpse farm's contributions to criminal science and the study of death.

The corpse farm is a great boon to both investigators and researchers. Donors can donate their corpses to a local body farm as "green cemeteries" to aid scientific research. The US now has seven of these facilities in operation, with more to come.

Since the cadavers are donated for research, this method is among the cheapest forms of burial compared to traditional funerals. The costs incurred may only include transporting the body to the body farm.

A Sea burial

Looking for another green burial method? Many sailors believe that being buried at the bottom of the sea is one of the holiest ways to end their days at sea. With a sea burial, people who loved the ocean while alive can return to the water after they die. Additionally, there are authorized sites off the coast of the United States where human remains can be disposed of in water-soluble urns.

Environmentally conscious companies like New England Interment at Sea, which offers natural burial shrouds woven by New England sail manufacturers, offer more eco-friendly burial solutions, including burials in customized caskets lowered to the ocean floor. A full-day charter allows you to have an open or closed coffin service before releasing the body into the ocean. According to certain firms, artificial reefs for marine life may be created by mixing cremated bones with ecologically safe concrete.

The estimated burial at sea cost may range between $500 to $2000. The cost is greatly determined by the number of people attending, boat size, and allocated time for the burial.

Tree Pod burials 

Burial capsules under trees are quickly becoming one of the most popular eco-burial alternatives. But what precisely are tree pod burials? How much would a tree pod funeral cost?

The slogan of tree pods is "life never stops." In honoring those who have departed by resurrecting the ancient form of the biodegradable egg pod, tree pod funerals consider that humans are an integral part of "nature's cycle of change." Ashes from tree pod burials are put in smaller pods, which symbolizes rebirth when a body is buried in the fetal position.

The capsules are then buried in the earth, with a memorial tree planted above them.

Capsula Mundi is the principal initiative that is investigating the notion of burying pods under trees. This project aims to think about death differently and give people a place to care for the growing tree. With more tree pod funerals occurring, graveyards will take on a new face, transforming into green cemeteries with bright woods and holy forests.

Tree pod burials are very cheap as they may cost you between $99 to $330. Your tree choice influences the cost.

Other ways to keep a 'green burial'

Green burials are not for everyone. Luckily, there are other ways to contribute as well. There are several other ways of making sure. Even holding a funeral service online helps conserve the environment in a small way with people not all converging on to the funeral home, although we understand that it is important to be able to say bye to loved ones in person. So here are some of the additional ways of maintaining green burial standards.

Eco-friendly coffins

The usage of eco-friendly coffins is a key component of an environmental funeral. Minimizing the environmental impact includes avoiding conventional wooden coffins and caskets. Alternatively, your loved one may have expressed a desire for you to select different materials for their coffin, such as bamboo, banana leaf, willow, pine, and cardboard.

If you and your family are thinking about an ecologically responsible funeral for a loved one, starting with an eco-friendly "green" coffin is a great place to start. They are often composed of renewable and sustainable materials that are 100% natural and biodegradable.

Transportation alternatives

Although avoiding driving may be challenging depending on the burial spot you've selected for your dear one, you and other mourners might become more environmentally conscious by traveling to the funeral more environmentally friendly.

Rather than consuming gasoline in a funeral car, try walking or cycling. If you must drive, try sharing rides with others to reduce the number of automobiles in the funeral service.

The Burial Shroud

Shrouds are used to encase the body of a deceased person in the event of their death. Cotton, linen, muslin, or hemp can be used to make them. Silk funeral shrouds are an option for certain individuals. Some funeral shrouds feature huge pockets sewn on the top so that you may put personal mementos and scented plants.

Before they die, shrouding can be an eco-friendly alternative for their burial for ecologically conscientious people. The use of biodegradable absorbent fabrics and bags in a shroud helps limit any bodily leakages after death.

Final thoughts

There are several eco burial choices available - it all depends on what you believe is best for your friend or relative and how invested they were in environmental protection. The basic concept of green burials or an environmentally friendly funeral is to return a body to nature so that it can disintegrate and regenerate as a tree, plant, or other living entity.

If you would like further information on eco-friendly burials and the service that we provide here at Insurance Funerals, please free to contact us via our form.