Did you know there's a Corporate Death Care industry?

That's right. And it seems that no aspect of our economy is immune to the temptation of greenwashing. Thankfully, there are more than 300 cemeteries and funeral homes across the country offering eco-friendly death care. The Green Burial Council is the standard-bearer for truth and transparency in death care.

Green Burial Council

Most caskets, urns and shrouds are constructed with plastics, acrylics, or similar synthetic polymeric materials posing health risks to workers and releasing toxic chemicals into the ground.

Additionally, embalming fluid is made from formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, which has been proven to pose health risks in funeral homes. A study by the National Cancer Institute released in late 2009 revealed that funeral directors have a much higher incidence of myeloid leukemia.

According to the Green Burial Council, there are now several formaldehyde-free embalming fluids, including one made entirely of nontoxic and biodegradable essential oils. There are also caskets constructed from plant-derived, recycled plant-derived, natural, animal, or unfired earthen materials.

With the involvement of environmentalists, scientists, lawyers, and representatives from the funeral service industry, the Council has set forth the World’s first standards and eco-certification program for burial grounds, funeral homes and burial products.

The Council has been working to lay a foundation of receptivity for eco-friendly death care through an extensive outreach campaign to let consumers better understand their end-of-life options.

I spoke with Executive Director, Joe Sehee, "We believe burial is "green" only when it furthers legitimate environmental aims such as protecting worker health, reducing carbon emissions, conserving natural resources, and preserving habitat.We believe the field of funeral service needs to embrace a new ethic for new era."

At PosiPair, we believe death can and should connect to life.

~ by Sarah Manski for PosiPlanet, the blog of the founders of PosiPair.com

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