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Green burial: A peaceful alternative

Older couple riding bicyclesAs the need to take care of our planet becomes increasingly urgent, you may already be taking steps to live more sustainably … but have you thought about dying more sustainably?

Peace Assured Final Expense Whole Life Insurance can help cover the cost of your end-of-life arrangements. Beyond increased financial protection for your family, though, having a plan in place can give you the freedom to choose how you’d like to be remembered, whether that means a classic funeral service or something a little more organic.

Typically, people consider two options when they’re deciding how they’d like their bodies to be laid to rest: burial and cremation. While cremation may be a more eco-friendly alternative to the standard process of burial, traditional cremation still uses fossil fuels and creates air pollution.

If you like the idea of truly going back to the earth, you may be interested in the increasingly popular concept of green burial. If so, read on!

The dirt on green burial

Each year, approximately 30 million board feet of casket wood (including tropical hardwoods), 90,000 tons of steel, 1.6 million tons of concrete, and 800,000 gallons of embalming fluid are used for funerals in the U.S. alone.

In addition to not being so great for the planet, formaldehyde and other chemicals typically used to prepare the body for burial may not be healthy for the funeral directors who do the preparation. Studies have suggested that prolonged exposure to formaldehyde may increase risk of cancer and even ALS.

Green burials follow a certified process designed to not only minimize the environmental impact of burials, but also maximize conservation efforts. For a green (or “natural”) burial, the body isn’t embalmed, and caskets or shrouds are made out of responsibly harvested, non-toxic, biodegradable materials such as untreated pine wood, bamboo, banana leaves, wicker, and natural textiles like hemp and wool.

Maybe being buried in a wicker basket doesn’t sound like your style ... but if you think it sounds kind of cool, you’re not alone. A study in 2015 showed that 64% of Americans age 40 and over said that they would be interested in green burial options. That was up from just 43% in 2010, and as the population trends toward greater eco-consciousness, it may be even higher now.

Greener details

If you choose a certified green burial — or even if you opt for a more traditional funeral — there are plenty of additional ways you can honor the planet during the celebration of your life. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

  • A mindful meal - When loved ones gather to remember you, plan for the food served to be local, organic, and/or sustainably raised. Request that recycled and/or compostable paper products and utensils be used.
  • Flower power - Suggest local, organic florists for anyone who wishes to send flowers as a remembrance. Not only will you know that the flowers brightening your service weren’t treated with pesticides, but you’ll also reduce the miles arrangements have to travel (and the emissions that correspond to those miles).
  • A good cause - If flowers aren’t that important to you, ask that your loved ones make a donation to your favorite environmental organization instead.

The gift of planning ahead

Even though it may be a tough conversation to have, communicating your end-of-life plans and preferences to your family is such a powerful thing to do. It means that when the time comes, your loved ones will know that they’re honoring your memory just the way you wanted.

Having final expense life insurance may be another way to make a very difficult time a little bit easier for those you leave behind. Peace Assured Final Expense Whole Life Insurance policies are issued by Sagicor Life Insurance Company, a provider with an A.M. Best Rating of A- (Excellent)1. That means the amount of coverage you want backed by financial stability you can feel confident about.

Click here to get a no obligation quote or here to find out more about our Peace Assured Final Expense Whole Life Insurance. Our simple process is designed to provide you with final expense life insurance coverage in minutes — because we know you want to get back to enjoying this beautiful planet of ours!