Into the Great Green Beyond
At the end of an eco-conscious life, there is a final choice a person can make to limit his or her impact on the planet: a green funeral.
“Consumers might live green, but they don’t think about dying green,” said Darren Crouch, president of Passages International, with offices in Albuquerque, N.M., and Berkshire, England, which supplies funeral homes with environmentally friendly caskets and urns. “They don’t know that they can green their funeral.”
Of the more than 2.4 million deaths per year in the United States, roughly 70 percent of the newly departed are interred in traditional caskets — that is, wood, steel or even copper caskets, many of which are then encased in slabs of reinforced concrete to prevent the weight of the earth from causing them to collapse. For those who go the casket route, embalming with toxic chemicals like formaldehyde remains common.