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How to give back to the Earth after you’re gone

Date : Mar 25,2016
By : Derek Lotts

People who truly care about the environment will ensure that their farewell to this world is done in accordance with ecological rules. If you ensure that your burial ceremony leaves no carbon footprint, you will make a nice symbolic gesture to show your descendants how to treat nature with care and attention. Let’s see how a grim and gloomy funeral can be turned into a green, nature-supporting ceremony.

Charity contributions instead of funeral flowers
The tradition of bringing flowers to cemeteries has been with us for hundreds of years. However, every plant that we cut becomes a new wound on the vulnerable body of our planet. What is more, modern flower industry has a harmful effect on the environment, as well. Therefore, an eco-friendly burial ceremony should exclude flower arrangements. Instead of wasting thousands of dollars on them, the family of the deceased person should gather money for charity. After the ceremony, the gathered money should be given to an ecological organization chosen by the family.
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Cremation is (not) green
Cremation can be observed from two points of view. On one side, if people are cremated when they pass away, it eliminates the issues that many local councils have with a lack of space for graves. This matter causes serious cemetery problems in large cities.

On the other side, however, the process of cremation includes using fossil fuels and emitting some harmful gases into the atmosphere. This is why scientists have come up with some eco-friendly cremation alternatives. BBC has published an interesting story on those alternative solutions; read it here.

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United with nature
When the body of a deceased person has been turned to ashes, it is important to treat the remains in a solemn and dignified way. This is where a biodegradable urn with a tree seed in it comes on stage. The ashes are simply put into the urn with a seed and buried to an assigned spot. As the urn disintegrates, the ashes will give birth to a new life in form of a tree. This solution is somewhere between ecology and reincarnation.

Eco wood for traditionalists
People who do not approve of modern burial ideas can still take care of the environment. If you would rather hold to old-school coffins and ordinary ceremonies, go for caskets made from recycled wood. The problem with traditional coffins is that they are often made from endangered trees. In order to help reducing deforestation, choosing caskets that contain waste wood and trees that are not endangered is a nice gesture in favor of environmental preservation.

How to give back to the Earth after you’re gone

Eco-friendly ceremony details
When preparing a burial ceremony, ensure that all the items are organic and/or biodegradable. For instance, if you organize a reception after the service, make a deal with a catering company that serves only organic food. Moreover, the napkins and other paper or cardboard items should be made of recycled paper. If every little aspect of the burial ceremony is green, the overall ecological contribution will be higher.

Plants for cemetery
Depending on the burial policy in your area, you might or might not be allowed to place plants on graves. However, if a family opts for a cemetery burial, it is important to maintain the grave in accordance with some ecological rules. Since today most people organize pensioner funerals in line with tradition, the best option is to decorate the grave with long-lasting plants.

Once we leave this world, it will be nice to show that we cared about it while we were alive. This is why it is important to make our funerals as green as possible and show that we still have interest for the future of this planet and our grandchildren’s wellbeing.