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What is a Green Burial?

A Green Burial is simply a way of making sure that the dead have as minimum impact on the environment as possible. Instead of trying to preserve the body for as long as possible, in hardwood caskets or caskets which are not biodegradable – ever, a green burial helps to conserve natural resources, protect the health of the workers concerned, reduce carbon emissions and preserve the natural habitat in which it takes place, sounds pretty austere but the reality can be very different.

I remember my Dad telling me years ago that he thought it best to be cremated, which he saw as the best alternative at the time to being buried for eternity. He simply explained to a very young child that, in his eyes, if everyone was buried in the world pretty soon the entire world would be full of dead bodies and there’d be nowhere left to do anything else – not sure whether he was a pioneer in that sort of thinking or whether he’d been watching some “B” class horror movie. On the other hand there are those who think that if they’re buried in some sort of lead casket which will preserve the body in its entirety, then one day, when medical science has made a huge breakthrough they can be brought back to life – as if there won’t be enough old people in the world by then, without rejuvenating any more.

Green Burials

Anyway, that’s not the point is it? The point is that green burials really are the “natural way of things”. The first I’d heard of it was when a friend of mine tragically lost his brother suddenly whilst he was in his thirties. The green burial was, apparently, beautiful – set in a woodland and his children and loved ones decorated the coffin with pictures and wrote messages of love – it’s bringing a tear to my eye just thinking about it, but how wonderful to have such a peaceful and relaxed send off knowing that pretty soon he would be part of the “circle of life”.

Green Burials really are becoming a very popular alternative these days, it’s certainly better for the environment, it’s often deemed better for the family and it can even be better for the pocket. Who wants to live forever? It’s only important to live on in the hearts and memories of loved ones, that’s what it’s all about.

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