Live Green and Earn Points


Green After Death?

By Molly Wright |
You do your best to LIVE a green life, but have you thought about how you will help the environment after you’re gone?

You do your best to LIVE a green life, but have you thought about how you will help the environment after you’re gone?

As human beings, we are deeply touched by the death of a loved one. Our need to remember those who have passed on, whether based upon religious customs, cultural traditions or simply grief, moves us spiritually and emotional to do something to remember them. In fact, we have been memorializing our ancestors for over 100,000 years, which over time has made the funeral business a profitable one.

But what if you had the option of living your green lifestyle beyond the grave, of making a personal statement about your values and commitments to Mother Earth when you could no longer voice your opinions?

This is where Natural Burials come in. Surprisingly there are several options you can choose from that actually enhance the environment in the process. Here’s a few that I found.

One option, popularized in the United Kingdom in the late 1990’s uses only biodegradable coffins or shrouds and a tree is planted rather than using a cement or rock monument. The resulting area then becomes a living memorial instead of a typical cemetery. More recently, this idea has become another alternative for USA citizens, who want to leave behind more memories and less carbon footprints.

In Columbia, Missouri, for instance, according to the website for Pushing up Daisies, they want to “give those people who want ‘The Ultimate way of Going Green’ a choice to do so.” Their particular organization has set aside a burial area called Green Acres where only objects that are bio-degradable can be buried.

In South Carolina, The Ramsey Creek Preserve goes a bit further. Their mission is to not only provide a natural surrounding for human burial, but also restore and endow one-million acres over the next several decades. This two-fold conviction is catching on as natural areas are rapidly being swallowed up by human encroachment.

For green-minded individuals who prefer sea burial, according to the website Eternal Reefs, Inc. creates permanent living legacies that memorialize the passing of a loved one. For families and individuals that choose cremation, Eternal Reefs offers a new memorial choice that replaces cremation urns and ash scattering with a permanent environmental living legacy.

Using what they refer to as Reef Balls, made from a special concrete formula that not only withstands ocean conditions but allows marine life to attach to the surface, “more than 400,000 Reef Balls (have been) placed on the ocean floor” which overtime build up the coral reefs.

Green burials may not be for everyone, but for those of us who want to leave a living legacy or leave the world a little better after we pass on, alternatives to tradition burials might the perfect fit. But for now, living a green life is as close to heaven as we can get.

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  • Donna C. 4 years ago
    I decided years ago to be cremated. Since then I've been looking for things to do with my ashes. I really like the reef idea. Always loved to swim.
  • Elaine F. 5 years ago
    good idea.