The body returns to nature due to environmentally conscious funerals

Every person affects the natural environment during that person’s life and life activities. Today, the current topic is related to death or funerals, which consume huge amounts of wood and metal (coffin), stone and concrete (tombs), chemicals (body treatment and posthumous cleansing), plastics (artificial flowers and lanterns), fresh flowers that quickly withered, candles extinguished by wind and rain and the like. Cemeteries also occupy ever larger urban or suburban areas. People today want to live and die more sustainably. Thus the natural or green world funeral trend is becoming increasingly popular. The body is disposed of in cleaner and less invasive ways than conventional burials.
Ecological coffins, mortuary clothing, urns and burials made of natural materials and without added chemicals are already current in Western countries. The goal is for the body to be biodegradable after death to return to new life and life cycle as soon as possible. The practice of natural burials is most prevalent in Canada, the United States, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom.

In America, there are even “Green Burial Council” and “Center for Natural Burial” organizations that provide interested individuals with detailed information about green funerals. The Center for Natural Burier also provided insight into specific data on the post-mortem impact on the natural environment. They say that on average, 20,000 tons of concrete, 1,000 tons of steel and wooden coffins were buried on about 10 hectares of cemetery area, enough for about 40 potential houses. The old way of burial burdens the land and the air. The funeral industry generates significant amounts of carbon dioxide (transporting coffins, cremation, production of funeral items) and harmful gases. Cremation today seeks to strike a balance between the deceased and nature. Bios urns by Gerard Molina from Spain are popular around the world. The urn is in the shape of a jar in which the powder of the deceased is mixed with the substrate. In this way, a plant or a tree can be grown or a new life can be produced. Urn Bios can be planted outdoors directly into the ground or become a houseplant. The ashes of pets are disposed of in the same way. The Bios Park project has also been launched. The first Bios Park was built in Quebec, Canada, and more such parks are currently being built around the world. These are large green areas where urns can be planted en masse and at the same time preserve the beautiful memory of the deceased.
Eternal Reefs is an American company that takes care of the remains of pets. It offers new life in the form of a coral reef in the ocean. A kind of balls with holes are built from an environmentally friendly mixture of concrete and mortar ash. The balls are placed on the ocean floor to become a habitat for corals, fish and other sea creatures. Newly formed reefs encourage plant and marine biodiversity. So far, more than 2,000 reefs have been located in various locations along the US coast. Americans have popularized alkaline hydrolysis (a new way of cremation) which is liquid cremation. The body of the deceased with this method dissolves in a solution of water and potassium hydroxide. The bones remain as in the case of regular normal cremation by the cremation process. The bones are pulverized and given to the families of the deceased. The basic environmental advantage here is that liquid cremation requires only one-eighth of the energy compared to conventional cremation.
Composting mortal remains is the latest alternative to burial and cremation. Life cycles happen just like that, says Katrina Spade, owner of Recompose (a composting company for the deceased) in the American city of Seattle, Washington.

The composting method or natural organic reduction was legalized in 2018. Today, this method is an alternative to cremation and funerals. The deceased is placed in a closed chamber where the body is lined with pieces of wood, straw and other natural materials. Beneficial microbes are stimulated under controlled conditions of a certain temperature, humidity and ratio of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. Beneficial microbes are naturally present in the human body and the environment, so the body decomposes completely in a month. This leaves approximately one cubic meter of clean, odorless and completely safe to use compost. In the composting process, energy consumption is eight times lower than in cremation. A matter of less carbon dioxide. Recompose is building the world’s first center for mass composting of the dead. People who take the compost can return the compost to the soil in the desired way. Composted mortal remains can be donated to enrich the soil of the Bells Mountain Protected Area. Dutch scientist from the University of Technology in Delft Bob Hendrikx recently designed the “living cocoon”.

It is made of natural material from fungal mycelium (which promotes the decomposition of the body up to 5 times faster than the conventional method). Mushrooms cleanse the body of toxins, leaving only healthy food for the soil. Due to human parasitic life, we currently live in a cemetery of nature. Mycelium can humans return to the true circle of life — says scientist Hendrikx. It continues a new study how artificial grave lanterns replaced with a fungus that naturally glow in the dark. The creators of the biodegradable death capsule “Capsula Mundi” are Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel. The body is placed in the fetal position and placed in the place where the tree of the deceased’s or relatives’ choice will be planted. A similar mini version or biodegradable urn Capsule Mundi is used.

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