In San Diego many people are going “green” – trying to conserve our planet’s resources and natural environment for the next generation. Now there is growing trend toward “green burials” where the body is returned to the earth to decompose. No chemicals are used to embalm the body and it is laid to rest in a shroud or biodegradable casket. The first “green cemetery” in California is in Mill Valley in northern California. At Fernwood Cemetery they use no embalming fluids, only biodegradable caskets, and trees and scrubs as markers. In San Diego county, the funeral services company, Thresholds, in Lakeside, provides in home funerals and ecologically friendly burials.
According to Wikipedia, U. S. cemeteries deposit into the ground 827,00 gallons of embalming fluid, 30 million feet of hardwood, 90,000 tons of steel, 2700 tons of copper and bronze and over 1 million tons of concrete each year. Even cremation, although better for the earth than burial, leaves carbon ash that doesn’t decompose. The “green burial” movement is trying to alleviate this impact on our environment by encouraging burials without embalming, caskets that will disintegrate, and even cemeteries with no marble markers, metal vaults, or lawns that require fertilizer and pesticides.
For more information on “green burials” you can visit the Green Burial Council website. If you need to incorporate “green” provisions into your will or trust, call or e mail us at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation, LLP. Our initial in-house consultation is complementary.