If you’re planning a traditional Western funeral for a loved one, burial according to industry standards will cost you — in more ways than one. The materials typically used in the process, from embalming chemicals to casket varnishes and sealants, can seep into ground, polluting the water that you use every day.
In addition, U.S. cemeteries contain an estimated 15 tons of casket steel, enough to build almost all of the skyscrapers in Tokyo, according to TalkDeath, an online community dedicated to encouraging positive conversations around death and dying. Even cremation — often considered one of the most environmentally friendly options — spews fossil fuels into the atmosphere.
So what’s an eco-conscious funeral planner to do? A green burial uses biodegradable materials for caskets and shuns the use of chemicals to preserve bodies. That means adopters can help save the planet while saving themselves (or their families) money in the process.
To learn more about green burials, watch the video above.