Going green, in life ... and in death

by Brian Roewe

NCR environment correspondent

View Author Profile


Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts to Letters to the Editor. Learn more

In recent years, the "going green" mantra has spread into many facets of everyday life -- cars, light bulbs, water bottles, electronics and many, many more areas.

A story at HourDetroit.com, a Detroit-area magazine, highlights another way people are looking to limit their carbon footprint -- burials.

According to the piece, a "green burial" is a practice that:

"employs biodegradable caskets (or none at all, depending on the deceased’s wishes), no formaldehyde-based embalming solutions (plant-based solutions are permissible if there is to be a viewing, but some opt for no embalming at all), and biodegradable shrouds and casket liners."

For some, the practice isn't just an environmentally-conscious choice, but a spiritual one, as well.

The story tells how a woman buried her mother in the same fashion as Jesus was, at her mother's request. Assisted by Eco Catholic contributor Fr. Charles Morris, the woman placed her mother into the ground sans casket, unembalmed and wrapped only in a shroud.

Morris said he the practice shows humans are a part of creation, not separated from it, and describes green funerals as part of the circle of life.

“It’s a complete recycling — cradle to cradle,” he told Hour Detroit. “We’re not going to use our bodies anymore, and those parts and nutrients can be recycled back into the Earth. It’s part of the web of life.”

Latest News


1x per dayDaily Newsletters
1x per weekWeekly Newsletters
1x per quarterQuarterly Newsletters