Going Green in the Afterlife?

January 10, 2023

Green Funerals: Eco-Friendly Options For Your Remains

While we might not all know where we go in the afterlife, one thing is for sure–our bodies are made of carbon and can return to the planet to create new life! What we do with our carbon after death has an impact many of us have not ever thought about.

Consider these options in eco-friendly ways to thank your body for living it’s best life:

1 – A Green Burial. In a designated green cemetery, natural soil organisms are used to break down a body. No embalming fluids are used, and biodegradable caskets or shrouds are used. Often the ground is planted with native species.

2 – Aquamation. This is a “flameless cremation” process and the remaining ashes can be scattered or buried. Just don’t ask us who figured this one out…

3 – Mushroom burial suits. Fungi pajamas, anyone? But yeah, super cool innovation.

4 – Eternal reefs. Your ashes, mixed with eco-friendly concrete, help rebuild coral reef habitats!

5 – Become a tree. This is like a green burial above, but you get a tree planted above your natural grave of wood chips, hay, and soil!

6 – Human composting. Get yourself turned into soil, just please don’t ask to be added to the vegetable garden. A conservation area or forest will do…just ask permission, first.

In fact, we even have a green burial location here in Clarksburg, Maryland! Check out the location and more about all these options!

12 comments on "Going Green in the Afterlife?"

  1. Alemayehu says:

    Thank you so much indeed for sharing this invaluable information!! Appreciated
    Awareness is a ver important issue for keeping our planet safe and sustainable. People who are aware of the environment are better able to contribute. Keep it up!!

  2. todd Ruby says:

    Is human composting legal in MD? there is a company called Recompose who does human composting. They mentioned that NY has legalized the procedure but I have not hear anything about it being legal in Maryland. What do you know about this? thanks!

    1. Mary Travaglini says:

      Todd, you could ask Recompose, we would not know how to track policy on this. Cheers.

    2. Lee Webster says:

      No, Maryland has not legalized natural organic reduction. See https://www.marylandfuneral.org How to Arrange Disposition

  3. HC says:

    I was under the impression that Maryland has approved human composting, but thought there are currently no human composting spaces in Maryland yet. I would like clarification on this subject.

    1. Mary Travaglini says:

      HC, you can check with Recompose, they have information here: https://recompose.life/who-we-are/#public-policy

  4. JR says:

    When will MD make human composting legal? Odd to include this but currently is not legal in MD yet. Where is a link to the green Clarksburg cemetery, it does not show up in the provided link. Sorry love these options it’s just misleading most of this is available in Montgomery county.

    1. Mary Travaglini says:

      JR, if you go to the dropdown on the link and look for cemeteries, you will find it here. https://www.greenburialcouncil.org/cemeteries.html

      The article includes lots of options that may or may not be available in certain states (or anywhere) yet, but blogs like this are meant to educate and allow people to also advocate for change. And people can choose to have their body go to another state, so we did not limit options to be hyper local. Thanks for reading!

      1. Lee Webster says:

        Try this full list of cemeteries in the US and Canada, too: https://www.nhfuneral.org under Green Burial

    2. Lee L says:

      I found the following on: https://www.greenburialcouncil.org/cemeteries.html. It’s a green burial site that is planned to open this fall in Silver Spring: https://reflectionpark.org/mission. Their FAQ page has a bit more information.

  5. Lee Webster says:

    New Maryland website that has answers to all your questions, inclined the feasibility and environmental truth about alternative dispositions and products – check out https://www.marylandfuneral.org

  6. Great post! We can also now sustain the environment with the persons remains, wow!

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