The human species has a unique ability to shape the environment in which they live, and this ability comes with a responsibility to ensure that this impact is sustainable as physically possible. As humans, we alter landscapes, exploit natural resources, and emit pollutants that contribute to climate change.
The funeral industry is an area where our uniqueness as humans and our lasting impact on the environment is particularly relevant. Traditional funeral practices often have a significant environmental impact, including the use of embalming chemicals, non-biodegradable caskets, and burial vaults. However, there is a growing movement towards more sustainable funeral practices.
By embracing our uniqueness as humans and considering our personal values and beliefs, we can make informed choices about our end-of-life arrangements that align with our environmental values. This can include opting for more eco-friendly funeral options, choosing a final resting place that aligns with our values, or engaging in green burial practices.
- Choose eco-friendly disposition options: As mentioned earlier, traditional funeral practices can have a significant environmental impact. However, there are now many eco-friendly options available, such as natural burial, alkaline hydrolysis and terramation (human composting). These options can minimize the use of harmful chemicals and reduce the carbon footprint of the funeral.
- Consider donating your body to science: Donating your body to science can be a meaningful way to contribute to scientific research and education. This can help advance medical knowledge and potentially lead to new disease treatments.
- Support conservation efforts: You can leave a lasting legacy by supporting conservation efforts through your will or estate plan. This can include donating money to environmental organizations or leaving property for conservation purposes.
- Opt for a green funeral: Green funerals can include a natural burial that involves placing the body in a biodegradable coffin or shroud and burying it in a natural setting, such as a meadow or forest. This can help promote biodiversity and support local ecosystems. A service can be provided at a park or green graveyard to reduce our carbon footprint. The casket can be brought via a hearse bicycle as seen recently in France. Cutting down on travel for guests can help with our carbon footprint. Using seeded paper or biodegradable printed items can also help. See also our blog post on an Eco Funeral
- Reduce waste and consumption during your life: By living a sustainable lifestyle during your life, you can minimize your environmental impact and leave a smaller footprint after you pass away. This can include reducing waste, conserving resources, and supporting eco-friendly products and practices.
Ultimately, recognizing our uniqueness as humans, we in the funeral industry can help create more meaningful and personalized end-of-life experiences that reflect the individuality of our clients while also minimizing our environmental impact.
What do you think? Would you go green at the end?