It is sometimes said that our lives might be compared to footprints in the sand; individually unique as they follow their own human journeys. All organisms that have lived, have died and returned to the soil… only to be recycled into new life. This is the positive and charitable interpretation of the footprints we leave.
But in today’s world, the word footprint also encapsulates less favourable connotations – a measure of the less welcome, permanent and enduring impacts of our respective footprints on the earth.
In order to conserve the sustainable use of precious resources and land in an increasingly overcrowded world, environmentally friendly funerals usually make use of sustainable materials, buried or interred in green cemeteries such as woodland burial sites, fields, and gardens.
Graves remain unmarked, (although plotted with highly accurate geographic information system – GIS), allowing the natural habitat to become a living memorial.
The natural burial might be seen as one which leaves no adverse – or the least adverse – footprint. With this in mind there are many ways in which the practice of traditional burial may be made greener, through the use of biodegradable materials ensuring that they are effectively returned to the environment for use again in the future rather than taking decade or centuries before they decompose and are reabsorbed into the land.
These sustainable options might help in the choice of materials used in green burials:
Usk Castle Chase’s tranquillity is typical of the surrounding Monmouthshire countryside. With lush landscapes, it offers a peaceful place to sit and be surrounded by natures beauty.
The meadow’s beauty has far reaching views of the Vale of Glamorgan. Unhurried, tranquil and private, it offers something gentler. A place of escape, away from it all.