With the rise in awareness of the consequences posed by global warming, many find themselves striving to do what they can to save Mother Earth. This wave has spawned an ever-growing green movement. However, going green does not only entail recycling or planting trees. It also means ditching the traditional funeral in favor of an eco-friendlier burial at sea.
While this might sound weird to some, burial at sea has become quite popular, along with cremation, when sending loved ones to the afterlife. According to the Cremation Association of North America, the steady rise of those who opt for cremation and burial at sea can be attributed to the flourishing green movement sweeping the world. Such eco-friendly burials are estimated to increase by 60 percent over the next 15 years.
Are Sea Burials Really Eco-friendly?
Burials at sea are especially popular in the US and the UK. The Federation of British Cremation Authorities even released its own study that shows cremation and woodland burials, along with burials at sea, are increasingly popular due to the innate biodegradability of each method.
While there are still some who frown upon this type of send-off for a departed loved one, there is no question that burials at sea are more eco-friendly than traditional burials. For one thing, the family of the departed need not worry about buying a coffin, which will rot or rust eventually and inevitably affect the soil surrounding it. Furthermore, there is no need to use preservatives and other harmful chemicals just to keep the body fresh for a few more months.
However, sea burials are not a completely novel idea. In fact, sailors have practiced the ritual for centuries. It has only recently picked up the pace among civilians. There are private charters, like one found in the San Juan Islands, that can be hired to organize such burials. And the San Juans provide a noble and majestic backdrop for such a ceremony.
Although cremation and its resulting dispersal of ashes to the sea is a current trend, some are even mixing the cremated ashes with cement to create reef structures, lowered onto the ocean floor to become habitat for marine life.
If you or your family want to expand your part of the green movement, a burial at sea provides a refreshing and most fitting means of sending your loved one to the afterlife.
“Green Guru: How Eco-friendly Are Reef Ball Burials?”, Audobon.org
“Live Green, Die Green – The Eco-friendly funeral”, DigitalJournal.com