A Return To Basics With A Natural Burial Ground

For those that have spent the majority of their lives being eco-friendly, planning and arranging to be interned in a Natural Burial Ground, seems par for the course. According to a poll by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), more than 70-percent of the respondents indicated they would consider a natural burial. Below are a few reasons why natural or green burials are better for the environment and the pocketbook.

• Natural Decomposition -; In a traditional funeral service, the body is embalmed using formaldehyde to delay composition long enough so that the viewing of the body may be held. In the U.S. alone almost 1 million gallons of embalming fluid is used annually in burials. In a natural burial, the body is prepared without the use of any chemical preservatives that would inhibit natural decomposition.

• Caskets -; In the United States, more than 30 million feet of wood, 90,000+ tons of metal, and 3,000 tons of copper and bronze are buried in 22,000-plus cemeteries annually. These materials can remain for thousands of years. Coffins used in natural or green burials are made from biodegradable materials such as bamboo, cardboard, cane, or fiberboard. One can also be wrapped in a shroud made of cotton or similar material.

• Cemeteries -; A Natural Burial Ground is a place of beauty as well as eternal rest. Many strive to be natural preserves and habitats with trees, wildflowers, and wildlife. Traditional cemeteries add almost 2 million tons of concrete annually to the earth. Instead of marble and granite headstones to mark a grave, green cemeteries use flat, wooden markers or natural rocks. Trees and native plants are popular to plant on the grave site as well.

• Expense -; The average cost of a traditional funeral and burial is around $10,000, which for many people is a huge financial burden. In the United States, the annual revenue generated by the funeral home business exceeds $11 billion yearly with no indication of slowing down. The cost for a natural burial range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

A nonprofit organization called the Green Burial Council, works to promote natural funeral practices. In the United States, there are over 50 certified green burial grounds. There are also hybrid cemeteries that offer both traditional and natural burials -; with the natural area being designated and only biodegradable products used. You can also connect them on Facebook for more updates.

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