Why People Love the Idea
A green burial is an easy choice for every person who wants to ensure that the last act of their life contributes to the health of the planet, and reflects and celebrates their values and how they lived their life.
Your final act is giving back to the earth.
With green burial, your body naturally decomposes, allowing the nutrients from your body to contribute to the earth’s renewal.
Your final resting place is among nature.
Imagine a beautiful Ontario meadow or a luscious woodlot. In the summer wildlife thrives and in the winter, the snow brings calm. This image brings immense comfort to those who would like to rest in nature, and for their family and friends who can visit in this serene setting.
A natural burial does not pollute.
It’s apparent how polluting conventional burial is, with the hardwood and metal caskets, vaults and bodies embalmed using the toxic formaldehyde.
But many don’t know that cremation is not eco-friendly either. A cremation retort operates at 760 to 1150 degrees Celsius for one to three hours and releases 400 kilograms of carbon into the atmosphere.
A natural burial embraces a traditional approach.
Remove the embalming fluid, ornate casket, and concrete, or cremation, and you’re left with a burial closer to what our grandparents’ grandparents would
have considered the norm, and some faiths still practice today.
Your presence in the ground protects the land forever.
Once a body is buried, it is essentially acting as a permanent security guard, ensuring that no one can build on that habitat.
Environmental Impacts of Conventional Burial
Conventional burial has a significant negative impact on the environment:
- All cemeteries in the USA take up an estimated 1 million acres of land
- Buried within them ANNUALLY:
- over 800, 000 gallons of formaldehyde
- over 100 thousand tons of steel for caskets and vaults
- 2,700 tons of copper and bronze for caskets
- 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete from burial vaults
- 30 million board feet of hardwood caskets
- About 2 million caskets are made in the U.S. each year, and around 75% of these are metal. Casket manufacturers are on the EPA’s list of top 50 hazardous material waste producers, primarily as a result of the toxic finishes they apply to their metal caskets. Each year, wood caskets require about 45 million board-feet of mostly hardwood lumber (primarily oak, maple, and cherry).
- Vaults are required by many cemeteries to keep the ground level as the casket deteriorates. A typical vault is made of about 1.6 tons of concrete. Manufacturing and transporting vaults is carbon-intensive.
- Headstone manufacture results in energy consumption, pollution and CO2 emissions for mining, transportation and gravestone manufacturing.
- Conventional cemeteries generally require large amounts of water, pesticides, and weed killers.
Environmental Impacts of Cremation
Think Cremation is more environmentally friendly? You could drive 4800 miles on the energy used to cremate one person.
- North America uses enough fossil fuel for cremation to drive you halfway to the sun every year.
- According to industry studies, one cremation uses 92 cubic meters of natural gas and 29 kilowatt-hours of electricity, pumping over 400 kilos of carbon dioxide into the air. .
- Mercury and other toxic metals from dental fillings and joint replacements are also burned during cremation.
- Our friend, Gary Beckett, lived a simple and natural life; riding a bicycle everywhere he went. He died in the woods of a heart attack while cutting firewood. His cremation added more pollution to the Earth and atmosphere than he likely did the previous 10 years of his life.