The current concept of ‘green’ funerals began in the U.K. in the early 1990s and it gained popularity across the world. Often, green funeral is tantamount with eco burials, woodland burials, and meadow funerals. The fact that there are numerous woodland burial sites accessible for green funerals in the United Kingdom relative to only 50 in the late 1990s, makes it a more appealing alternative for those individuals planning for their dear ones or their own funeral (“Green funerals” par. 1).
Comparison between traditional and green funeral
A traditional funeral and burial in the United States cost between $6,000 and $10,000, at the same necessitates embalming using formaldehyde, and requires the use of indecomposable steel casket and concrete burial chamber. This undertaking usually requires a burial plots and are normally eyesore (Smith 2003).
On the other hand, green burial can cost half the expenditures in traditional burial and embalming, concrete vaults and steel caskets are not allowed. As opposed to metal casket, biodegradable materials such as cardboard or wood are used to construct casket, or biodegradable fibers are used for shroud.
In addition, green graves are indicated using natural features such as planting of a shrub or a tree, else with placement of an indigenous slab. Also, burial sites are marked with a geographic information system [GIS] so that future descendants are can locate an ancestor’s grave (Smith 2003).
Why green funeral is gaining popularity
According to Lobster Habitat (para. 3), plot space is running out through out America. This trend has been brought about by common family relocations and high divorce rate has lead people to stop visiting their local cemetery to pay tribute to their departed one.
Cremation has overtaken traditional burial as an alternative for putting to rest the loved ones. In fact, Cremation Association of North America claims that by 2010, cremation will comprise 40% of burials in the U.S.
Thus, these cremation statistics indicate that alternative burial trends are gaining popularity such as “green burial” which motivates a lot of Americans to contemplate leaving behind a lasting eco-living legacy. For individuals or families who opt for alternative burial, a new trend called reef burial is becoming famous (Funeral Professional Coalition Council of Canada 1).
Trend of green funeral
Based on Geoff Carnell, various factors such as world circumstances will contribute a lot in how quick the trend will perpetuate. Carnell suppose that baby boomers will focus on certain green practices, however, the concept will sustain in the proceeding generation, especially if their cost are relatively less.
The demand swing for green funeral alternative will be determined by the following factors; (a) generational paradigms shift: embracing green live as an indispensable fact of live; (b) government’s policies; (c) actual environmental transformations and appreciation of imminent crisis; (d) public awareness; (e) national or worldwide economy (Funeral Professional Coalition Council of Canada 5).
In the United States, green funerals have become a common reality and Carlson in caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love anticipates that even the boomers will choose green as an alternative.
To further emphasize on the generational gap and inclinations, with regard to market study group divisions, Baby Boomers who top the chart are seconded by Generation X, then followed closely by the Millennial Generation, with every cohort depicting an increasing awareness, technically confidence, flexible to transformations, and environmentally informed (FPCCC 5).
Funeral Professional Coalition Council of Canada. Initial best practices for green Funerals in Canada: A green guide for funeral professionals. Vancouver: Kogan Page, 2009. Print.
Green Funerals. Green Funerals & Woodland Burials. n.d. 12 January, 2011.
Lobster Habitat. New Deathcare Trend: Green Burial at Sea in Artificial Reef Balls. January 2008. 12 January, 2011.
Smith, Nancy. Green Burials & Home Funerals . Mother earths news. April/May 2003. 12 January, 2011. https://www.motherearthnews.com/forums/forum.aspx?boardid=1202&g=posts&t=110452