I grew up loving to be outside. I loved animals and playing in the woods. I respected nature and wanted to learn all I could about it. It helped growing up in an age where protecting the environment started to be a part of a cultural revolution.
Throwing the trash out the window of the car started to be illegal and people started to clean up the ditches. Earth Day was proclaimed and started to be celebrated on an annual basis. We learned about new legislation for clean air and water and we started to be more conscious about the energy that we used. We started to recycle.
As I start to think about the end of my own life and the natural order of things, I consider how my funeral and burial will fit in to this belief system as I am preparing to die. What impact am I going to have on the earth as I return to dust.
I went to a meeting the other night of like minded people that were discussing things like home funerals, how to prepare the body at home without embalming, and how to have a green burial. It is good to know that if you make preparations ahead of time that you do not have to just follow the funeral industry down the path of least resistance. Many times that path is one that will benefit someone in the short term with more money but might not be the best benefit for you or the environment.
I learned about a cemetery that has set aside a portion of their land for the environment. You can be buried there in a casket that is biodegradable. You cannot be embalmed because of the chemicals harming the soil. There will be no mowing or fertilizer used in the upkeep of the grounds. You can use only natural stones or a tree to mark the grave. After 20 years, the plot can be used again for someone else in the family.
Although it is not legal in every state yet, there is another form of cremation that is coming, called bio cremation. It is more environmentally friendly because it uses water and pressure instead of flames, uses about 1/8 of the energy, and does not pollute the air.
You can make a statement with the way that you are buried. It can be a way of making sure that you follow your beliefs into the afterlife. Plan ahead.