Environmentally Friendly Tombstones: Choosing A Memorial That Will Not Harm The Earth

Choosing environmentally friendly tombstones is gradually gaining in popularity. Anyone interested in protecting the environment is seeking a memorial that will not use extensive resources to create it, or that will gradually dissolve away into the ground over time. This can be difficult to find, and in some cemeteries, tombstone materials are regulated. Given these problems, what should an environmental activist do to choose the right memorial?

In the United Kingdom, there are tombstone manufacturers that have developed a composite plant material tombstone that over many, many years will eventually biodegrade into the ground where it is placed. Burial spaces are becoming problematic there, because there is simply a lack of space and growing need for more of it. Alternate burial formats and practices are being considered simply because cemeteries are quickly running out of space.

In a significant amount of cemeteries, tombstone materials are regulated. Typically, only two or three choices of materials are made available, so that the cemetery might maintain a uniform appearance throughout its grounds. Unfortunately, these materials are traditional granite, sandstone, marble, or solid rock. And often, the expense is quite high and many struggle to afford the literally thousands of dollars that these traditional tombstones may cost.

There is a growing movement toward totally green burial. At these cemeteries, burials take place only in simply pine boxes, or shrouds. Tombstones and memorials may be something as simple as a tree, bush, or native flowers planted to mark the site.

In some green cemeteries, families are given devices to electronically locate the burial site of a family member. Tracking chips are buried with the family member to aid in the location process. This high tech burial plot locating system may totally remove the need for any tombstone. Some provision can be made for also using a flat rock or flat tombstone that identifies the burial spot without changing the natural rise and fall of the land.

For traditionalists, having a large stone professionally engraved is considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly tombstone possible. For the professionals that engrave the stones, there is nothing more natural. Having come from the ground, a stone is viewed as the best thing to use. For many, the stones are the most natural thing, and speak clearly of the earth, so the tombstone is the most lasting and natural memorial possible.




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