Why Green Cremation?
We can all agree that we are moving into a time in our conscious evolution as human beings where we are beginning to realize that sustainability doesn’t end with our lifestyle choices but can extend beyond our lifetime with our end-of-life decisions. This is not a simple conversation because opinions vary so widely about the solutions that are being termed sustainable or ‘green’, which leads to complicity of opinions and individuals freedom to live and die by their personal values, beliefs and desires.
The conversation of what constitutes ‘green burial’ or ‘natural burial’ is becoming more and more alive in peoples minds. There are many that believe that the most natural way to be buried is to be enterred beneath earth turned by hand, wrapped only in a shroud or encased in a casket of simple natural materials. There are other individuals for whom cremation is sacred or necessary and thus green burial means a natural cremation process; no toxic chemicals, the use of locally obtained, sustainably harvested casket and urn materials, etc. The issues are vastly complicated and intertwined.
The vision of O.U.R. Ecovillage encompasses sustainable lifestyle choices from birth, through life and into death as I discussed last month in our post on Green Burial at O.U.R. Ecovillage. And, as we began to work together with the Green Burial Council of Canada and The Land Conservancy of BC in the initial development of the project, we realized that the scattering of cremated remains was the best option for us not only because of the limitations around the Cemetery Act, but because 80% of people in BC are choosing cremation within their end-of-life process. So, our choice to present this option to the public is not because we believe that it is the most natural method of burial available to us on the land at this time, but because it allows us to provide people with a sustainable option for what the are already doing. If you would like to learn more about the environmental impacts of cremation please take a look at O.U.R. Frequently Asked Questions.