Since a few years, people are becoming more aware of the harmful effects of human activities on our planet. They are not only switching to environmental-friendly alternatives but are also creating communities to inform and engage others in society. Go green is now the new scene!
The environmental enthusiasts of the world have come up with ways to reduce the carbon footprint of each individual and organization. They have released substitute items and alternate methods of funeral services. Our traditional methods of cremation/burial are far from eco-friendly and release a lot of Co2. They cause damages about which we are not always aware.
Here are some options you may consider for green funerals.
In a lot of religions, after demise, cremating the deceased holds a lot of traditional value. People are devoted to their culture and get peace in performing those last rites. For such situations, substituting the firewood with cow dung logs can go a long way. It not only lowers the amount air pollution, but it also contributes to reducing deforestation. As per statistics, one city requires the cutting of about 4 lakh trees just for generating the wood for cremation.
There are smarter alternatives for burial services too. Substituting your non-biodegradable caskets with the biodegradable eco-coffins can reduce carbon emissions by 50%. These pine coffins allow the body to decompose naturally. The natural alternatives are eco-friendly and also satisfy the religious and social sentiments.
If you wish to be completely economical, then electric and CNG based cremations are your best options. They make use of furnaces for cremating and allow the family to take the remains in just a few hours. Since there is no burning of wood, harmful emissions are not released. This alternative has a cost advantage over the traditional wood pyre.
Also, more and more cremation services are introducing electric/CNG cremation as it reduces the spread of the virus through the infected body.
Moving on to lesser-known alternatives, water cremation also termed as alkaline hydrolysis is a process for discarding the human body using lye, water, and heat. The combination of alkaline water and rising temperature causes the body to dissolve, leaving back remains. Another added advantage is that the water used in this process can be utilized as a fertilizer because of the nutrients it contains. Though water cremation is one of the eco-friendliest options, people are still having a hard time accepting it. In our country, this option has not yet been introduced.
Mushroom Burial Suit
Mushroom burial is indeed one of the most interesting ways of decomposing a human body that you may ever come across. The burial suit is made of organic cotton and lined with specialist mushroom spores to consume the body. The mushrooms absorb and purify the toxin and then release them in the form of nutrients to the soil. This alternative allows you to give back by helping in the growth of forests. If you are truly green at heart and don’t mind getting eaten by a bunch of mushrooms, then the mushroom burial is just for you. It is yet to be introduced in many countries.
Another excellent alternative to cremation/burial is to recompose. In this process, the human body is placed in a vessel with wood chips, alfalfa, and straw. Oxygen is then pumped to increase the microbial activity. In just one month the body decomposes, and all that is left are remains. This method is one of the most natural ways of going from earth. It is said to be an accelerated process of natural decomposition and is not known by many.