September 29, 2011
The idea of a traditional burial in this country is changing. It used to involve embalming the body and setting it in a metal or concrete casket six feet deep in the ground. But today, people are increasingly looking for greener and simpler alternatives. Cremation and natural burials are becoming more popular as people consider the ecological and economical consequences of death and burial. In green cemeteries bodies are wrapped in a shroud or placed in a biodegradable coffin just three feet down to speed decomposition. Instead of gravestones, trees, shrubs or wildflowers may mark the burial spot in an effort to preserve and restore the land. And there are lots of other options if you’re interested in going out green – you can be freeze-dried, biocremated, or your remains put into an ocean reef ball to create a home for fish. This hour, we’ll look at the green burial movement with guests DR. BILLY CAMPBELL, Founder and President of the Memorial Ecosystems and Ramsey Creek Preserve, the first green cemetery in the United States, and MARK HARRIS, the author of Grave Matters: A Journey through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial.