No one wants to think about the end of life, but it’s an inevitable part of living. Some would argue the brevity of the human life is what makes it so beautiful. That said, you do want to leave the world a better place than you found it. There are a number of ways you can take a more green approach to the end of your life.
1. Avoid embalming.
Many of the chemicals used to delay the decomposition of the body can be toxic to the environment. You can opt to not be embalmed and then become a natural part of the food chain once more. After you die, your body will go on to be a food and nutrient source to a number of plants and insects. In a way, you’ll live on through the life you give to other creatures.
2. Use biodegradable urns.
If you want to be cremated instead of buried, you can be. However, consider purchasing a biodegradable urn; while your family can hold on to your remains for as long as they need to, in time, the urn will decompose and break down, becoming a part of nature once more. It is composed of all natural, long-lasting materials that won’t be harmful to the environment when they’re no longer needed.
3. Leave a living marker.
Rather than having a huge, bulky tombstone put down to memorialize you, consider having a tree planted on your grave instead. The tree will assist the surrounding environment with oxygen production, as well as provide shelter to a number of animals. A small plaque can be installed in the tree to state its purpose. This is a great way to be remembered while still helping the environment.
4. Encourage a green funeral.
Many funeral parlors offer services where only recycled materials are used in the ceremony. This means you won’t be contributing to the carbon footprint anymore when your funeral service arrives. The hymn sheets, programs, and more are made of recycled paper, while the flowers come from local and organic growers. Refreshments can also be purchased locally to help out the local economy.
By following these four steps, you can take your place in the circle of life and help leave the world a better place than you found it.