Everyone is paying closer attention to the environment these days and with good reason. Climate change is threatening to diminish everything from our water supply, air quality and ecosystems. As a result, people are learning the value of taking care of our environment. There are many ways to be eco-friendly, even during the most difficult situations in life. If you have a funeral coming up, and want to honor the life of a friend or family member to whom the environment meant a great deal, the best way to do so is to make the ceremony as green as possible. The following are a few eco-friendly funeral ideas to keep in mind as you work out other details during this tough time.

Find a Green Burial Casket

Instead of springing for the usual plastic caskets – the kinds that cost a bundle and are quite stately looking – try to find a casket made of recyclable or reclaimed materials. These caskets should not contain any plastic. In addition, they must be biodegradable and free of toxins in order to pass the litmus test for eco-friendliness. Want to do your due diligence and minimize your carbon footprint? Consider a casket from a manufacturer that isn’t more than three thousand miles away. Different kinds of materials to consider are bamboo, teak, hemp, cork, and so on.

Human Composting

While this sounds a bit macabre, human composting is actually a beautiful ceremonial idea that might provide a viable avenue for bidding the beloved farewell. As the people at greenmeadowmemorials.com/ state, human composting – also referred to as natural organic reduction – is a process of transforming the dead into compost that can literally feed the earth. This is not an option available in many states. The idea came about to help areas wherein lush, green land is scarce. A few scientists helped to come up with this method, noting a considerable difference between this and using manure or food scraps. The bacteria will consume the carbon in the body, while nitrogen will support growth. There is a very specific process to all this to keep it as hygienic as possible. When done right, it helps to balance the surrounding ecosystem, and is a truly green way of supporting the environment.

Biodegradable Urns

If you prefer to cremate the deceased, then look into a biodegradable urn that is eco-friendly. And luckily, there are quite a few options to choose from. There are urns made from organic and recycled materials, or materials that have been harvested in a sustainable manner. Like traditional urns, many come in beautiful colors and designs, so you won’t lose anything aesthetically. Some of the materials to look into can be willow, tree bark, or even seagrass. Also, the urn won’t break down unless it is placed in water. You may be interested in having the ashes of the deceased scattered around water. If so, you can simply throw a biodegradable urn along with it.

Resomation

Resomation is an eco-friendly option to take the place of cremation. This process uses alkaline hydrolysis instead of fire to help decompose the body chemically, as opposed to burning it and emitting a lot of carbon. According to the latest studies, resomation can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least thirty percent, which is pretty impressive. No wonder it is gaining traction and becoming more popular.

Support the Marine Ecosystem

As we established earlier in this article, climate change has deeply impacted marine life. The continued rise in ocean temperatures has had a truly negative impact on coral reefs, killing them off at an alarming rate. Thanks to science, you can now use your remains or that of a loved one to help support the marine ecosystem and allow for coral and the attendant microorganisms to flourish. This is done by creating an artificial reef with your cremated remains, which entails mixing it with an environmentally safe cement mixture to create an artificial reef placed in the ocean. 

Shrouds

Many religions have traditionally eschewed coffins and utilized cotton shrouds in which to bury the dead. You can use a biodegradable version, and there are many materials to choose from; hemp, bamboo, cotton, linen, and muslin are a few popular choices. Also, you can purchase a version that features pockets in case you want to include mementos with which to bury the dead.

Ashes to ashes, as the old saying goes. It was always intended to point towards the cyclical nature of life and the ways in which the human body is in essence part of something bigger at play. Hopefully, this article proves that there are many smart ways to treat death as part of the larger fabric of human life and that you can in fact save the environment from further trouble and even contribute positively to death.