We are all aware of the need for us to be better stewards of our environment. The well being of future generations will depend in large part on our efforts to conserve natural resources and protect our environment. To this end, Burnett & White Funeral Homes have committed to meeting the standards of the NY State Funeral Directors’ “Environmental Stewardship Certification” and the National Funeral Directors Association “Green Funeral Practices Certification”. Both of these programs are designed to improve the ongoing conservation efforts of our business. Our commitment to “going green” is, and will continue to be, one of our core values.
What is a green burial?
A true green burial is a burial that truly impacts the environment as minimally as possible. Burial sites - which are typically larger than in a traditional cemetery - are not maintained in the same way traditional cemeteries are, but rather are left in as natural a state as possible. Unembalmed bodies are interred in a bio-degradable casket or a natural shroud, and no concrete vaults are used.
Green burial sites promote the growth of native trees and wildflowers: pesticides and fertilizers are not used. In short, green burial sites use minimal maintenance and allow nature to take its course as much as possible.
Burial vs Cremation
For many years, cremation has been viewed by some as a more “environmentally friendly” means of final disposition than traditional burial. While it is true that the cremation process uses fewer resources than some other options, it still has a negative impact on the environment. Crematories burn fossil fuels, and while technology is helping to make this process “cleaner”, these fuels are not renewable resources. It has been estimated that the amount of non-renewable fossil fuel used the provide cremations in the North America each year is the equivalent of the amount of fuel needed for a car to make 84 round trips to the moon each year.
“The major emissions from crematories include: nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury vapor, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen chloride, and other heavy metals, including persistent organic pollutants. According to the United Nations, crematoria contribute 0.2% of the global emission of dioxins and furans and are considered the second largest source of airborne mercury in Europe.” (The Centre for Green Burial)
If you are interested in green burial for yourself or your family members, our staff is available to discuss your options with you in detail. Please feel free to contact us using the On-line Pre-Arrangement Form in the Planning Ahead section of this site, or call either of our locations to make an appointment to speak with a funeral director.