What is green burial? A popular topic as everyone is paying attention to how to be kind to the environment. Green burial is a natural burial process, and its name is often interchanged with Natural burial. Like everything green nowadays, a green burial is a way of caring for the deceased without having a detrimental impact on the environment. Green burials aid the conservation of natural resources, preserve natural habitats, and reduce carbon emissions.
What is Green Burial : Green Cemeteries
You may find some cemeteries are now certified by their corresponding local councils as green burial grounds. A GBC certification is an official document that allows the consumer to distinguish between the different types of green burial grounds. To date there are three different levels of certification. The need for a certification process for Green burial grounds allows for transparency and prevents people from going back on promises that have been made to become an ecological burial ground.
Embalming is not a natural process, and it is therefore not allowed in green burial grounds. Although it is not deemed to be a practice that is wrong, it has a negative impact on the environment. Embalming fluid is traditionally comprised of chemical formaldehyde, and this imposes serious health risks. Funeral directors that have worked for many decades with embalming fluids have been found to have a much higher incidence of myeloid leukemia. That is not to mention the harmful chemicals once buried underground that upset the natural fauna and flora.
Embalming fluids that no longer contain the harmful formaldehyde are now available, and these have gained the seal of approval by the GBC. What this means is that embalming is now possible in green burial grounds, just so long as the correct green fluid is used. Conserving the body of the deceased is perfectly possible without the use of harmful chemicals, and this can be seen all over the globe.
What is Green Burial : Burial Vaults
Concrete burial vaults are deemed green in the sense that they are natural. What is not natural however is the process used to manufacture the vaults and transport them to the burial ground where they will be used; both of these processes cause enormous levels of carbon emissions. Indeed vaults are prohibited in natural and conservation level burial grounds.
Ensuring a Green Burial
If you wish to ensure that your burial is green, then you should follow GBC regulations and suggestions. These include the use of a casket, shroud, or urn. The casket must be made from biodegradable materials and must be non-toxic. Cremation in itself burns fossil fuels, so by many is not considered to be a green burial option. The greenest burial option possible is the burial using a shroud instead of a casket, in a natural burial ground without the use of any embalming fluid at all. To find out what is considered acceptable for a green funeral in a natural burial ground near you, contact your local diocese or council for more information.