SEP 12, 2017 5:03 AM PDT

Environmentally Friendly Funerals


Death is an uncomfortable topic for many, but a new trend could be emerging. As more and more people live a greener, more environmentally friendly lifestyle, that mindset is carrying over into how we view death and final arrangements. While the norm, in the United States at least, is a burial of an embalmed body in a casket, there are green alternatives that are becoming more popular. From dedicated areas of a cemetery, to "tree pods" that turn a body into a living plant, the options beyond the typical burial are growing in popularity. As the saying goes, "Live green, die green."

A new documentary from filmmaker Ellen Tripler, details how some people are choosing a different way to dispose of their remains after death. The first green cemetery, in South Carolina, is catching on. Instead of being embalmed, with chemicals and a casket, some are choosing to be buried in pods that will nurture a tree or in other biodegradable materials. Citing concerns about land use, toxic chemicals, and the expense involved in a typical funeral, some environmental activists as well as others who just don't want the expense of a casket and funeral costs, are turning to green or "natural" burials. These funeral arrangments do not include an upright headstone, a burial vault or a typical plot in a cemetery. In pioneer days, often people would die on their way to the new world of the West, and recent efforts focused on protecting "prairie burial grounds" have led to a new way of looking at death with a view toward preserving land and limiting the use of chemicals. Burial expert Dr. Billy Campbell talks about this movement with PBS and how he became involved.
About the Author
English
I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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