These days as people continue to be more environmentally conscious in their daily lives, many start to wonder if it’s possible to continue to be sustainable even after they pass away. Almost everyone has heard of the term “green burial” where the body is placed directly into the earth untreated by harmful chemicals and dressed in biodegradable clothing, but what green options are available when someone has chosen to be cremated?

Biodegradable Urns
After a loved one has been cremated, their cremated remains can be placed in a biodegradable urn. The urns are suitable for both earth and water burials, and will slowly disintegrate over time, returning the materials and cremated remains to the earth.

Green Cemeteries
Cremated remains can be interred at green cemeteries, where the land is designated for natural burials and has strict rules on what kind of materials can be placed in the earth. Biodegradable urns can be used or ashes can be mixed with soil and planted in a space for a memorial tree to grow. These cemeteries focus on nourishing the land and typically have no marker to indicate where a loved one has been buried, and instead the entire area is a memorialization for the loved ones placed there.

Other Disposition Options
Aside from earth and water burial, another option is memorial reefs. For this, ashes are mixed into concrete, molded and placed into an area requiring marine rehabilitation. Over time, the new “coral” attracts marine life, and promoting and encouraging regeneration of the reef.

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