Holistic End of Life Care: Green Methods of Final Disposition

Pages: 4 (1427 words) Published: August 25, 2013
Green Methods of Final Disposition
RN 404: Holistic End of Life Care
Casey Lebens

It would be easy to imagine that the American way of death is an environmentally friendly business -- but nothing could be further form the truth. From casket manufacturing to funeral embalming, cemetery maintenance to flower disposal, the entire process is saturated with dangerous chemicals and heavily reliant on fuel-guzzling transportation (Watson, 2013). In this paper, I will discuss the topic of green burials, other wise known as green methods of final deposition. I will explain the procedure, product, and process, as well as how this relates to my interest in nursing and how I would plan on educating my future clients. Green burials can go by many names: natural burial, woodland burial, or green method of final disposition. All versions are about keeping things as simple and natural as possible. The goal is for the client to return to nature in a way that will not harm the environment, but will actually preserve the landscape and enhance opportunities for wildlife (Prairie, 2012). It's about leaving the world a better place, and it is increasingly becoming the environmentally friendly choice. The general principals of this kind of burial are that the body is not to be embalmed. There is a biodegradable coffin or urn. It is made out of cardboard, bamboo, seagrass, willow or sustainable wood. Or a shroud is used, and a native tree or shrub is then often (but not always) planted on, or close to, the grave instead of a large stone memorial (Prairie, 2012). Recently, some states, with the backing of the funeral industry, have considered restricting the practice of home or green funerals. Oregon legislators last month passed a bill that would require death midwives to be licensed, something no state currently does (Zezima, 2009). There for, the process of having a green funeral can change in difficulty, depending on the state. The idea, is at odds with modern burial (with...

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Harris, M. (2011). Green burial: what you need to know. Lilipoh, 16(62), 15-16. Retrieved by: Ebsco.
Prairie Oaks Memorial Eco Gardens (2012). Retreived from: www.mngreengraves.com
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Watson, B. (2013). Green funerals: 3 ways to help save the earth after you leave it. Daily Finance. Retrieved from: http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/green-funerals-environmentally-friendly-burial-options/
Zezima, K. (2009). Home burials offer an intimate alternative. New York Times, Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/us/21funeral.html?_r=3&hpw&
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