Thursday, March 4, 2010

Heard of Eco-friendly burial?

Planning a burial and and want to do it in a greener way? Well that is what the pro-green Canadians are doing now.

The funeral and burial businesses in Canada are catching up on the green bug and Smith's Funeral Homes, which operates four funeral homes, last year became Canada's first such business to be certified by the U.S.-based Green Burial Council, an independent, non-profit organization that encourages eco-friendly end-of-life practices. Traditional funerals and burials are anything but environmentally friendly.

A typical cemetery buries 4,500 litres of formaldehyde-based embalming fluid, 97 tonnes of steel, 2,000 tonnes of concrete and 56,000 board feet of tropical hardwood in every acre of space. Add to that the tonnes of cut flowers and carbon emissions from mourners' vehicles. And if you think cremation reduces your carbon footprint, think again. It's estimated a single cremation uses 92 cubic metres of natural gas, enough to supply the average Canadian home for 12.5 days, and releases 0.8 to 5.9 grams of mercury. A cemetery that is worth emulating is Greensprings, in Ithaca, N.Y., where plots are hand-dug and graves are not marked by large headstones carted from miles away but by trees or shrubs, or flat stones or plaques, for those who wish to mark a specific plot at all.

I think its nice that instead of a cement statue, you plant a tree in its place, you know, you give life from a life.. It adds a bit of a romance to death..

Tip of the day: Buy items which sells a refillable version to it e.g dishwashing liquids, so you can refill the bottle and just recycle the plastic bag. Of cos it is better to buy organic or eco-friendly products, but it is another step to take to go green :)

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