By Renee Mirabito for Ethical Living Australia.
There are many changes you can make to your lifestyle that are beneficial to the environment. What you choose in your day-to-day life, from what toilet paper you use to where you buy your groceries, makes a contribution to sustaining and replenishing the environment. But what about the choices you make in death?
Zenith Vigaro, Founder of the Natural Death Centre in Byron Shire, NSW, refers to the decisions we make about our death as a ‘deathstyle’. What we choose in death can also help the environment, be a fitting tribute to the lives we led, and provide a more relevant way for our loved ones to say goodbye.
Green funerals and natural burials are concepts that are currently gaining momentum in Australia. Overseas, they have been commonplace for sometime, however they are now entering the mainstream here too.
Read more here.
The natural burial movement in Australia appears to be gaining momentum. This month saw the launch of Oakwood Funeral’s ‘Green Endings,’ see previous post here and watch their new video below.
In addition, this week a new Facebook group has been established, Eco Natural Funerals which according to the Australian founders “affords those people interested in Natural Funerals, Dying at Home, Natural Burial Grounds the opportunity to share their knowledge and ideas. It promotes networking and thus builds a community of like minded people enabling those of us who are interested to be come empowered and able to spread the good news, demystify death and promote the culture of dying at home peacefully, enviromentally friendly funerals, natural burial grounds and starting, a day of the dead.” Check it out and be part of a growing community.
Green Cemeteries is excited to introduce you to Green Endings, a green funeral option offered by Perth based funeral service, Oakwood Funerals.
A Green Endings funeral is a more sustainable and an affordable alternative to a traditional funeral. It is a more natural and softer way to leave a living legacy.
Choosing to have a Green Endings funeral not only significantly reduces the amount of carbon emissions produced compared to a traditional funeral, but reduces the overall environmental degradation of land, air and waterways.
Green Endings can advise you on environmentally-sustainable options to reduce this impact, and will help you incorporate them into the funeral service and cremation or natural burial, whichever you prefer.
As improvements in technology are made, the range of options offered by Green Endings will also expand. This may include such emerging trends as aquamation and resomation, or even electric powered hearses. As soon as it is available in the Perth area, we will make it available to you. This way you can be sure that what Green Endings offers you is currently the most environmentally-sustainable funeral service.
A Green Endings funeral places more emphasis on personalisation and family involvement. Choices include environmentally friendly coffins and urns, where in the bush land setting of a natural burial ground to scatter the ashes or for the burial to occur. Ceremonies can occur at the memorial site, and trees can be planted in honour of the loved one.
Green Endings is an alternative way to create a a truly personalised service which reflects the life and legacy of your loved one – a softer, lighter, smaller footprint on the earth.
It may not surprise you to learn that GREEN CEMETERIES is firmly opposed to the expansion of cemeteries, especially when it impacts on our ability to grow food. In Sydney, the Botany Cemetery is expected to run out of space for burials within ten years and has submitted a proposal to the Randwick City Council to take over 60 per cent of neighbouring land that has been growing food for inner city Sydney since the 1800s. LaPerouse Market Gardens are situated on 7 hectares and were listed on the State Heritage Register in 1999 for their historical, agricultural and social significance to NSW and their cultural significance to the Sydney Chinese community.
Traditional cemeteries are highly unsustainable and destroy the natural environments on which they are imposed. Large tracts of land are turned into (excuse the pun) lifeless concrete jungles, covering a toxic cesspool of putrefying sludge, locked in more cement. Their relevance as memorials for loved ones disappears with the passing of just a few generations and then they stand forgotten, decrepit and crumbling in a sea of fellow tombstones. Even lawn cemeteries with their acres of green grass dotted with trees are a parody of artificial life. These virtual deserts require large and expensive inputs of chemical pesticides, fertilisers, mowing and large amounts of water just to maintain a false veneer of life.
Expanding cemeteries with their acres of lifeless deserts is not environmentally or socially responsible, particularly if it impacts on areas used for food production. Establishing natural burial sites or green cemeteries on land that has no other productive use is a much better alternative.
For more information on the LaPerouse Market Gardens, visit their website here.
A crematorium in the U.K. plans on capturing the heat given off from its furnaces and turning it into usable energy.
Read more here…
Sourced @ Cambridge Network 22 November 2011
A ‘green burial’ is becoming more widely requested. To help people to plan an eco-funeral an awareness day took place at Barton Glebe, Britain’s first Christian woodland burial ground, on 19th November.
At the event the UK’s first electric hearse, developed by Brahms Electric Vehicles, was on show and carrying a willow eco-coffin from WinterWillow.
Read more here…
Sourced @ NZ Herald
An increasing trend towards “natural burial” could help prompt a cemeteries bylaw review if Hamilton councillors agree.
City council staff will tomorrow ask councillors to approve an update of the Cemeteries and Crematorium Bylaw so that provision for the unique type of burial can be included.
Read more here…
It was interesting to see the following segment about natural burials air this week on Tuesday’s Channel Ten program ‘The Project’. It featured Robert Larkins, barrister and author of ‘Funeral Rights: What the Australian death care industry doesn’t want you to know,’ Zenith Virago founder of the Natural Death Centre based in Byron Bay and Lismore Bushland Cemetery. Click here to view. The segment starts 5 minutes and 34 seconds in.
Sourced @ Sun Community Newspapers
PLANS for a “green” cemetery are about to be dug up after years of being buried deep within the city’s budget. Although the city’s regular cemeteries are still decades away from capacity, the push is on to let residents rest in peace . . . and still be environmentally conscious. Green cemeteries involve being buried in biodegradable, cardboard coffins without a specific headstone marker. Instead, a GPS system is used to locate burial plots.
The concept will be part of Gold Coast City Council’s pre-budget discussions with an aim to having the ball rolling soon after the March election. Cr Ted Shepherd said a new site would be found near the existing Mudgeeraba cemetery but warned the green option would cost more. Burial at a green cemetery is likely to cost between $2000 and $3000, similar to existing burial costs, but the added cost would be paying for the hi-tech GPS plot-finder system.
Read more here