Colorado Probate Blog - Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, P.C.

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Go Green! The Alternative to Traditional Burials

If you are searching for an alternative to the traditional burial that will reduce your “carbon footprint” and lessen the impact you have on the earth, you may want to consider a “green” or “natural” burial. Contrary to what some believe, green burials are becoming more and more popular. A green burial is designed to be environmentally friendly and impact the earth as little as possible. This type of burial reduces chemical and carbon emissions, preserves habitat and conserves natural resources. It also helps to protect the health of those in the industry. The process of a natural burial features the removal of the use of chemical preservatives or disinfectants like embalming fluid, which contains formaldehyde and is highly toxic. Caskets, coffins and urns are made out of biodegradable materials like cotton, wicker, linen, silk or even bamboo, all of which break down into the soil without adding toxins to the earth as they decompose.

As technology advances, and depending on religion, alternatives to a ground burial that are still considered “natural” are coral reef burials, sky burials or burials at sea. Coral reef burials involve cremation with your ashes disposed of by being placed in a coral reef system that promotes marine life and is designed to be free of damaging or harmful materials. Sky burials are common in places like Mongolia and Tibet and involve being placed at the top of a mountain where your remains can decompose naturally through exposure to the elements and scavenger animals like birds. A burial at sea involves having your remains disposed of mostly by boat or ship where the body can decompose or be consumed by marine life. This type of burial is believed to be natural only if it is free from formaldehyde and will benefit the environment.

Depending on your personal values and if you are looking to be cost-conscious, green burials are growing in popularity and could be something you would want to think about when planning for your end-of-life care.

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