Why Go Green?
Many people give little thought to the impact of burials on surrounding habitats and the environment. Yet consider all of the toxic chemicals involved in a traditional funeral, as well as the natural resources used to bury or cremate a body or maintain a grave site. Read more about the traditional funeral industry's impact on the environment and greener options.
"Each year US cemeteries bury over 30 million board feet of hardwood and 90,000 tons of steel in caskets, 17,000 tons of steel and copper in vaults, and 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete in vaults." (-Funeral Consumers Alliance)
"About 800,000 gallons of formaldehyde-based embalming fluid are buried in U.S. cemeteries every year." (-Seven Ponds)
"Embalming uses formaldehyde, a highly toxic chemical. Embalmers are required by OSHA to wear a respirator and full-body covering while embalming. Funeral home effluent, however, is not regulated, and waste is flushed into the common sewer system or septic tank. (-FCASC)
"Even cremation is an environmental horror story, with the incineration process emitting many a noxious substance, including dioxin, hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and climate-changing carbon dioxide." (-Scientific american)
More than 50% of Americans choose cremation, and that figure is expected to rise over the next several decades, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. Yet, the cremation process uses a tremendous amount of energy, leaving behind a carbon footprint despite its lower costs.
Individuals and families have alternatives to traditional burial options that are gentler to the Earth. Learn how we can mitigate the impact of end-of-life decisions on the environment.
- Green Burial Council - develops green burial standards; certifies products, cemeteries, and funeral homes across North America
- Seven Ponds - learn about the environmental impact of the end-life process.
- Funeral Consumers Alliance - read more about the benefits of green burials