When you think about the typical funeral it involves numerous steps which ultimately place a lot of chemicals into the ground. From metal coffins, to the concrete vault, to the plastic lining in the coffin, and the chemicals used in the embalming process, it creates quite a toxic list that has to be buried. But there are ways to reduce this amount by going green when it is your time to go.
Start with the burial location. Believe it or not there are actual “green” cemeteries. These facilities are designed to keep out the numerous toxins that accompany a burial. The goal is to only bury things in the earth that will decompose.
Next, consider using a casket that is either wood or something else that will decompose well. You can choose whatever type of material you wish so you get to be as creative as you like. Even cardboard, could be used. Surprisingly, the law states that you can be buried in whatever type of container you prefer. An added bonus is that going with your biodegradable design will save your family some serious money.
Despite what some people believe, a burial vault in not a requirement for a plot. Your “container” can be placed directly in the ground- just like in the good old days. Cemeteries use vaults because it makes it easier for them to maintain the grounds by preventing the ground from settling unevenly. But concrete has a list of chemicals that it leeches out as time passes. Avoid further contamination of the earth and, again, save more money for your family to have access to.
Besides the housing, consider a greener body. Forgoing the embalming process means keeping gallons of harsh chemicals out of the ground. Over time, these chemicals will eventually make their way into the earth, which means into the water supply, as well. Not a good legacy to leave for future generations.
Unless it is an absolute necessity, embalming is an extra expense. Cutting out this step is yet another way to save your family a significant amount of money.
In the end, you will need to do some research to find the right facility to be buried and the right companies that will honor your wishes for the other requirements. Going this route might sound a little insensitive for some, but just consider it as your last official act of leaving a green legacy.