A Greener way to go
From preparing bodies to burying them in natural settings, the green burial movement is attempting to make death more environmentally friendly and, in some ways, closer to the way it was in the past.
Burials use formaldehyde embalming and long-lasting caskets. They can easily cost $10,000.
A standard grave site, often landscaped and well-maintained, features a large headstone made of granite or flat bronze. Fertilizer and pesticides are used on the grass.
Below ground, a casket made of steel, finished wood and copper rests inside a concrete vault capped by a thick concrete lid.
The natural, or green, burial method starts with the body preparation, which uses no embalming fluid or nonformaldehyde-based formula. Green burials can cost less than $2,000.
A green grave site is a natural setting, more closely resembling a forest floor.
If there`s a headstone, it`s a rock or a piece of rough-cut limestone that`s flat on one side to identify the deceased. Some methods use GPS coordinates to spot a grave`s location.
Caskets are made of wood, plywood, bamboo, cardboard, cornstarch or wicker.
Sometimes a shroud or quit may be used to wrap the body.