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Green End-Of-Life Options Becoming Increasingly Popular

Americans interested in green options for their end-of-life planning have been growing over the last several years.

Green options for end-of-life planning include green burial and green cremation. Both of these options are permitted in all 50 states, however only available to Americans depending on if the cemeteries in their community practice green end-of-life options.

Conventional end-of-life options like burial and cremation release toxic chemicals into our air as well as pollute soil. According to Gerner-Wolf Walker Funeral Homes & Crematory, every year traditional burial in the United States uses roughly:

  • 4.3 millions gallons of toxic embaling fluids, including formaldehyde and benzene
  • 20 million board feet of unsustainable hardwoods, which are often sources from rainforests
  • 1.6 million tons of concrete
  • Over 80,000 tons of heavy metals such as lead, zinc, cobalt, iron, copper and bronze

Green end-of-life options have considerably less environmental impact, using options that produce minimal pollution. Options include green burial, a burial option where embalming chemicals are not used and the deceased remains are placed in an inorganic burial container, such as unfinished hardwood caskets, wicker caskets and shrouds.

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Green cremation options are also available. Green cremation uses alkaline hydrolysis to accelerate the decomposition process. The process can take from three to 16 hours. Unfortunately, only 21 states allow this type of cremation and even less states have funeral homes that offer these services.

Gerner-Wolf Walker Funeral Homes and Crematory created a guide for those interested in green end-of-life services. Find the guide by signing up on the website.

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