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Memorial Next to a TreeDeath is a topic that many people can feel uncomfortable discussing. Though it is a force that will impact each and every living thing at some point, the inevitability and unknowability of death makes it a point of contention for many. Still, there are times when you absolutely must mull over the details of your eventual demise. Specifically, you might need to include funeral details in a will or other document explaining how to handle arrangements in the event of your passing. Though macabre in some ways, you can definitely learn a lot by researching your options. 

For many, sustainability is a big concern. If the environment is something you feel passionate about, there are many ways to work eco-friendly ideas into your final rites. These ideas for sustainable funeral practices may help inspire you.

The Natural Path

First, it is helpful to take a look at why so many people are exploring funeral practices that are easy on the environment. Death is a natural process wherein remains provide materials to sustain, boost, and restore living creatures. When an animal dies in the woods, the bones are picked clean by predators and scavengers. After this, the remains slowly feed smaller insects and nourish the soil, creating the ideal environment for new plants to bloom and feed larger animals. This cycle is straightforward, but human beings have complicated matters in the name of preserving memory and legacy.

While there is nothing wrong with being buried in a traditional coffin in a cemetery, pragmatism points out that this practice can only carry for so many years before space is unavailable. In fact, some Korean cemeteries only allow bodies to be buried for a few years before being exhumed and transported elsewhere. What’s more, many coffins work to protect the body and make it impossible for most animals or plants to use the decomposition process in a normal manner. This creates a situation where the death of a human creates more waste and consumes more resources than is good for the environment.

Sustainable Funeral Options

In order to combat some of these trends, a number of sustainable practices have appeared in the last few decades. The most popular is being “turned into a tree.” This process involves cremating a person’s body in a way that preserves certain vital nutrients and mixing the ashes with soil and seeds for a tree. The mixture helps the tree to grow and take root, providing a perfect spot for friends and loved ones to “visit” with the departed. Best of all, this practice is not limited to graveyards and the tree can be planted wherever you wish.

Eco-coffins have also become more popular. Unlike traditional coffins, these are made from materials that will slowly degrade over the course of time. This grants smaller organisms easier access to the body and allows the remains of a person to fit into the circle of life. As the idea of the eco-friendly funeral continues to gain speed, it is likely that even more options will be introduced to fit a variety of preferences.

Combat Current Global Problems

There are also ways to use your death as a final “good deed.” Climate change has led to the destruction of a vast majority of the world’s vital coral reefs. To help preserve this crucial natural resource, experts have developed an artificial reef that houses cremated remains. The reef is placed among living active coral systems and encourages expansion in a natural, healthy manner. It is also possible for loved ones to visit the reef, as they are often planted in areas where divers explore and document marine ecosystems.

Though death can be scary to think about, there is no avoiding it. Consider eco-friendly options for your own funeral and learn how you can leave this world a bit greener than you found it.

Category: Funeral

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