Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Your final Green commitment

Okay, it’s not something we like to think about but with proper planning, you can go green in the end.

What is a green burial?                   

Simple and natural.  Green burial, or natural burial, ensure the burial site remains as natural as possible in all respects.  Interment of the bodies is done in a bio-degradable casket, shroud, or a favorite blanket.   No embalming fluid, no concrete vaults. 
Why have a green burial?
It is clear that nature has intended that our bodies be reunited with the earth.  All organisms that have lived, have died and returned to the soil...only to be recycled into new life.  Constant microbial activity in the soil breaks everything down.  Nature creates no waste.  Everything is recycled. 
In keeping with your personal values, a natural burial site for you, family, even pets, promotes growth of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers, in turn bringing birds and other wildlife to the area.  Water is not wasted, nor are pesticides and herbicides used in attempts to control nature.  Instead, a green cemetery allows nature take it's course. Planting native trees, shrubs and flowers in your loved one's honor promotes habitat restoration.  To encourage land preservation, a green cemetery grants a conservation easement for the burial site.

Burial vs Cremation

A green burial is a cremation alternative, and a viable alternative to  "traditional"  burial practices in the United States.  It is an earth friendly option when considering burial vs cremation.  Many families choose cremation because it's seen as more environmentally friendly than traditional burial.  Embalming, expensive sealed caskets and burial vaults are not required by law.  Though traditional memorial parks may require them, a green cemetery or memorial nature preserve does not.  The simplicity of a green burial is in tune with nature and need not be expensive.
Until recently, interment in an environmentally friendly burial ground was not an option.  Now we can consider and encourage a natural burial, helping to preserve open spaces throughout the United States.  This will increasingly become a cremation alternative.
Choosing a green burial now relieves your loved ones of the distress that comes in having to make difficult, and often costly, decisions after your passing.  Involve your friends and family now, so difficult decisions do not need to be made in a time of grief.   http://www.greenburials.org/ 


(Sun-Sentinel/John L. White / December 22, 2006)

Green funerals, or alternative burial options, are gaining popularity and Florida is among only a handful of states (South Carolina, Texas, California and New York) that "host" natural or green burial sites. (I’m sure by now, more states have this option.)
The Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve in northwest Florida's Watson County is the only site in the state set up for "green" funerals.

Thought: Pine or wicker boxes are low-cost alternatives to traditional caskets and preferable in green burials. (Go to greenburialcouncil.org for more information)

Gene Dempsey, Parks Supervisor - City Forester
954.828.5785 --- 954.828.5799 fax