The Growing Need for Proficiency in Green Funeral Services

October 2019 Blog

People today are far more concerned with our environment than generations past. This need to limit the carbon footprint and leave as little damage to the planet as possible has become a priority for the way many people live their lives. Which, of course, leads naturally to the way that they want to be remembered and memorialized.

When you consider the way that burials have been conducted in the past, a lot of land has been taken up by burial plots. These plots are often encased in cement and the bodies are prepared with chemicals that delay decomposition and are not conducive to feeding into the natural environment. Many people today are considering green alternatives. They want to leave a positive mark on the planet or, at least, they don't want to add to a negative impact to the earth that will last for generations.

Information for Funeral Directors on Green Services

One key thing that funeral directors should be aware of is that many people would be receptive to green alternatives. They may not ask about the options because they aren't educated about the process or don't know how available these options are. Moving forward, green services will become more in demand as the younger generation, one which tends to be more focused on green solutions, enters the aging demographic for funeral planning.

Even today, we have a larger portion of the population who consider green burials a more responsible choice.

What Exactly Do Green Services Entail?

Generally, green burial and funerary services are conducted in a way where the body more naturally is absorbed into the environment. But the customs can also include at-home funeral services, preparing the body without using chemicals, such as embalming fluid, and covering the body with materials or a shroud which is biodegradable.

This is a newer field and there are certain to be more options available as it progresses. Here are a few of the more common green burial options today:

  • Body Preparation for Burial. In cases where the body is being buried in soil, the body is prepared without chemicals. The body may be wrapped in a shroud or the casket may be biodegradable.
  • The Burial Plot. For a green burial, there are often no markers or headstones. Many people opt for the loved one's information etched on a wooden placard that can be placed over the spot. Other options include planting trees or other foliage over the grave. In today's technology-driven age, you might even save the coordinates as a way to find the spot again.
  • A Burial Pod. A burial pod is an option for both bodies and ashes. The remains are placed into the pod which is buried to nourish a tree directly above the pod. In this way, the person's remains go back into the lifecycle.
  • Coral Reef Burial. People who love scuba diving or the sea may find this to be a wonderful option. The person's remains are put into a coral reef and placed into the ocean to provide a feeding environment for sea life.
  • Burial At Sea. As with the natural burial options, the body is not embalmed and is often sent to sea in only biodegradable fabric. As the body decomposes, sea life will feed on the remains, offering an environmentally safe recycling option.

Have You Considered Certification to Perform Green Burial Services?

If you're considering expanding your funerary knowledge to accommodate every type of client, Pierce Colleges of Funeral Services offers all the education and certification you need to meet the growing market for green options in memorialization and burial. Contact us today for more information on our programs.

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