GOING GREEN IN THE FUNERAL INDUSTRY
Our modern life has brought many different types of End of Life-memorial ceremonies. Increasing percentages of people celebrating End of Life ceremonies are: interfaith, multicultural, interracial, same gender, agnostic, and atheist. When we come together outside any specific church or religious organization we are free to customize the ceremony to fit our needs, personalities and beliefs. As this cultural shift is happening in our society, how do we honor and bury the dead?
Environmentally friendly burials are being offered by so called “green” funeral. Advocates of these services say that it’s less expensive, uses less natural resources and eliminates the use of hazardous chemicals. Cremation is also on the rise. 50% of people are opting for cremation vs. a burial.
According to an article by Tech Insider, more than 800,000 gallons of formaldehyde are injected into a corpse which is then put into a casket. These caskets uses 30 million feet of hardwoods, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze, plus copper and steal into the ground. The amount of casket wood alone is equivalent to about 4 million acres of forest and could build 4.5 million homes.
A green burial may mean burial without embalming, in a biodegradable casket without a vault, when permitted by a cemetery. This is new territory for the Funeral Industry, as well as adding a ceremony to fit this new trend that is on its way. With the changing environment and how we live this trend will catch on quickly.
The possibilities are endless now of how we bury and celebrate the deceased. Our job at Bright Path Ceremonies is to stay open and forward thinking to new trends and help build the bridge, clarify where everyone is coming from, research your customs and then broaden that to other traditions and make ceremonies personal to fit your needs and lifestyle. Often we need to not only honor what came before, we also need to evolve in order to cope and embark on a new normal. A well thought out ceremony creates sacred space to help bring closure to those left behind as well as honoring the deceased. As we face death we awaken to life. It’s a beautiful exchange.