Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Consider burial alternatives.

The cost of funerals is rapidly approaching $10,000, not as much as most weddings, but still pretty steep. The expense alone is enough reason to consider burial alternatives, but you may also be concerned for other reasons: land use, contamination of ground water by toxic embalming fluid, use of nonbiodegradable coffins and vaults, and the like. Thankfully there are many good alternatives for green burials that honor the deceased and comfort the bereaved. Here are a few of your choices:

* Natural burial "ensures the burial site remains as natural as possible in all respects.  Interment of the bodies is done in a bio-degradable casket, shroud, or a favorite blanket.   No embalming fluid, no concrete vaults." 

* Donation of the body for forensic research or medical training.

* Memorial reefs are an option for those who have been cremated. The cremains are used to create a "permanent living legacy that memorialize the passing of a loved one." Reefs are lowered into the sea to help restore the marine environment by creating artificial reefs and fish habitats.

* Cremation, a low-cost, widely-available alternative for those who are interested.

Many of us find it uncomfortable to think or talk about our own deaths, but having conversations about end-of-life care, organ donation, financial issues, and the like, can make things so much easier for your loved ones.

"One's death should mean something." - Edward Abbey


Mikey said...

Great Blog, love the feel!

Question - I found out recently that I have Burial Insurance from a relative many years ago.

Yet, I've decided on other ways to use the money that I think its more productive. Will the policy only let me use it for a traditional burial?

Anyways, thanks guys for the post. Keep us updated!

Karama said...

Thanks for visiting, Mikey. I'm glad you enjoyed what you found. You'll have to check with your insurer to determine the range of use for your policy. Best wishes!

Please stop by again soon, and spread the word.

Sunny Smith said...

Hi Karama - you always keep me thinking! For years I've been of the belief that I would prefer to be cremated than buried in a traditional cemetary using traditional means (enbalming, non-biodegradable caskets/tombs, etc). I think that these types of preparations are designed much more for the "living" (and their comfort) than they are for those that have passed. Keeping this in mind, communication now with your family and loved ones about your wishes or having a will prepared with your wishes is the best way to ensure that your preferences are honored, especially in some families were tradition and comfort level will discourage alternative burials.

anthony m, said...

I dont understand the reasoning behind a biodegradable casket.I work in a cemetery and i really dont think it matters what your buried in. I dont think that a cemetery is gonna be used other than a cemetery.So if the ground gets poluted with embalming fluids i dont think ill be planted tomatoes there anytime soon. That said i think your site is very interesting. I have a site on alternative energy and hybrid vehicles. Feel free to check it out.Hybrid Cars

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