It’s no surprise that the eco-friendly trend has had an impact on the funeral industry. People are choosing to become environmentally friendly even after life, since traditional burial practices can consume a lot of resources and energy that have a negative impact on the environment. Nowadays, more and more people are opting to have eco-friendly burials in a variety of ways, which include the use of biodegradable urns for either a burial at sea or a natural burial. The transformation of ashes into artificial coral reefs, among many other innovative green alternatives to traditional burial and ash-scattering practices.
Biodegradable urns are usually divided into two categories according to the type of burial they are intended for, i.e., a natural burial or a burial at sea.
Biodegradable Earth Urns
Earth urns are made of natural and sustainable materials. Some include a water-soluble bag where the remains are placed and will gradually biodegrade over time and give back to the earth. These types of urns aim to reduce the environmental impact of the production of common wood caskets and the need for concrete vaults. The production of casket wood has a generally negative impact on the environment due to the cutting of trees needed for its production and other resources needed for its assembly.
More and more people who wish to be interred in the earth have decided to give back to it in the process. One of the ways in which this can be achieved is through the use of plantable urns. These urns can hold a seed inside along with the remains of the deceased to allow the growth of a tree or other plant which can be chosen by family or friends. However, those who are more conservative may prefer environmentally friendly caskets made of recycled or sustainably produced wood.
Biodegradable Water Urns
Water urns, as their name indicates, are intended for burials at sea. Most people are aware of burials at sea thanks to movies and television, especially in medieval or fantasy films and TV shows. But in fact, it is a tradition that has been in practice ever since people started sailing the seas and can be traced back as far as Ancient Egypt. People who usually prefer this type of burial for their loved ones either have spiritual reasons or aim to commemorate the connection that the person had during their lifetime with the sea. Biodegradable water urns offer a chance to give the deceased an environmentally friendly burial. These urns are usually made of rock salt, biodegradable or recycled paper, or gelatin, to name a few. They are designed to float on the water for a brief period of time before sinking beautifully into the water, then it will start to biodegrade.
Another innovative and green way to perform burials at sea is through the creation of artificial coral reefs, which are made of a combination of the cremated remains of an individual with an eco-friendly cement mixture. These reefs can even be personalized with written messages or hand prints in the concrete. Following this process, the reefs are placed into the location chosen by the deceased’s friends or family and are buried at sea, where they will become a part of and help protect its ecosystem.
Whether individuals are concerned about the use of concrete and wood for natural burials or the complexity of scattering ashes at sea due to weather conditions, biodegradable urns offer a practical and green solution to these problems. In general, the use of biodegradable urns has made burials sustainable for the planet by enhancing and preserving the environment. It also provides a unique and meaningful way for individuals to give back to the earth even after their passing or the passing of a loved one.
Eco-Afterlife: Green Burial Options, Scientificamerican.com
Leave a lighter footprint: green funeral and burial tips, Treehugger.com