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The "Going Green" Movement Even Includes Funerals

Updated on September 9, 2013

Going Green

Going Green is a movement that's been around for a while now. When people "go green" they make decisions to change their lifestyles for the safety of the earth and to benefit the environment. The people who go green are the ones who are conscious of their environment and they make daily decisions about how their decisions may affect the environment or what may be the outcome that their decisions may have on global warming, pollution, animal habitats, and other environmental issues. People who go green use green products, recycle and reuse every product that is possible to be reused. Going green means to limit the use of natural resources and to be self-sufficient. Going green, also, includes "green funerals", "green burials", "green cemeteries", and "green cremations." A green cremation is different from traditional cremation. No flame is used in green cremations. A green cremation uses water and potassium hydroxide to naturally turn the human body to bone ash and sterile fluid that is drained and returned back to the earth.

Green Burial

Green Burials

Green burials is a movement that is catching on and the movement is growing more popular, especially with "Baby Boomers." The reason why the movement is popular with baby boomers is because baby boomers have more concern for their environment than the generations before did. A green burial is a simple and more natural way to bury the dead than the traditional burials. The bodies of the deceased are placed in a pine, cloth shroud, wicker, or even a cardboard type of casket for burial. These caskets are made from material that are biodegradable and they biodegrade more quickly than the conventional caskets that are made of hard wood or metal. The green type of caskets are environmentally friendly. The body of the deceased is not embalmed so that the body decomposes much more quickly and returns back to the earth more quickly.

Green Cremation

Green cremation is Eco-friendly and is an alternative to traditional cremation. Green cremation is, also, known as Bio-cremation. Bio-cremation is gentle and natural. A traditional cremation uses flame to reduce the body to ashes, and emits pollutants into the atmosphere, such as mercury and more. Green cremation uses water and potassium hydroxide to reduce the body to bone ash. The body is placed in a steel cremation chamber and is reduced to ash in 2 to 3 hours. All that remains of the body after the process is completed is calcium phosphate and sterile fluid. The green cremation chamber uses water, potassium hydroxide, pressure and high temperature. Similar processes have been used for the cremation of animal remains. Traditional cremation takes up to 2 to 3 hours to reduce the body to ash, which is a time-frame that is similar to bio-cremation. Bio-cremation cuts down on energy use, electricity, and fuel and is more friendly to the environment and earth. The Resomator is a commercial alkaline hydrolysis unit designed to combat the impact that cremation has on the environment. Green cremation is achieved through resomation.

Green Funerals

A green funeral can cost less than the traditional funeral. The average traditional funeral can cost from $6,000 to $10,000 dollars. Green funerals cost less and burials cause less pollution and use fewer resources. Only a handful of green cemeteries exist in the U.S. in a few states, but the movement is growing and gaining momentum. There are a lot more green cemeteries in the U.K., than in the U.S. No embalming fluid is allowed in green funerals. Most embalming fluids contain formaldehyde, which is thought to cause cancer in workers in funeral homes. Embalming fluid can eventually leak and pollute the ground water. The practice of embalming the dead became popular during the Civil War. Arsenic was used during the Civil War, but was eventually replaced by formaldehyde. Formaldehyde proved to be less toxic than arsenic. In a green funeral the body of the deceased can be kept on dry ice or in a cooler before the funeral in most cases depending on the circumstances.

A Green Cemetery

A Green Cemetery in the U.K.
A Green Cemetery in the U.K. | Source

Green Cemeteries

The traditional funerals and burials include vaults, heavy wood and metal caskets, headstones, embalming fluids, which are not allowed in green cemeteries. The graves in green cemeteries can only be marked by natural markers. No mausoleums are allowed in green cemeteries. Green burials don't have to be expensive, and they create no waste. Everything at a green burial is recycled and goes right back to nature. People have been buried naturally, before embalming fluid, heavy wood and metal caskets came into use. People were once buried in pine boxes at the time of the old west. There is a website called: "Green Burial Counsel", which has a lot of information on green funerals and burials. A green burial is an alternative to the traditional burial. There are green cremations, as well.

Green products and services should be verified to make sure that they are green. "Green Washing" is when a product or company claims that their product is green and the product is not green.


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    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      I agree about green funerals and donating the body to medical science and donating eyes so that others can see. Thank you, too. gail641

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      I agree that green funerals is really a wonder. Donating to medical colleges would be a good thing and donating eyes so that others can see is a good thing. Not damaging the atmosphere is good with eco-friendly funeral rites. Thanks for commenting.

      Your welcome, pramod gokhale. Gail641

    • pramodgokhale profile image

      pramodgokhale 5 years ago from Pune( India)

      Green funerals a concept is really a wonder. In India many people make will that after death their remains should be handed over to medial colleges for studies and disposal. They donate body as their last wish, some people donate their eyes after death so that can transplanted to a person who needs it and will have eyesight back or blindness would vanish.

      Methods of final rites can be done in eco-friendly way, no damage to atmosphere.

      thank you,

      pramod gokhale

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      That does sound kind of strange to have green weddings like that. Thanks for commenting.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile image

      Dr Billy Kidd 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      A growing fad in China is to have green weddings. The groom picks up the bride on a bicycle, escorted by a few dozen guests, also on bicycles. The honeymoon is selected from places people can get to by making the smallest carbon footprint.