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Funerals are not what they necessarily have been in past times. Often, people are looking for options that are more environmentally sustainable. There’s the “green funeral” option, where traditional aspects of funerals, such as embalming and vaults, are eschewed in favour of alternatives more in keeping with the environment. Mornington Green offers an alternative rooted in the planting of trees in a legacy garden.

The “Green” Funeral

Recently there’s been a trend towards “green” funerals. A green funeral changes or omits certain practices once considered standard funeral practices in the name of more environmentally friendly practices. Generally, procedures such as embalming, the purchase of an expensive casket, and cement vaults are expected for many deceased. Now, there’s a trend towards eliminating these aspects of the funeral in the name of environmentalism. Also, some people find more closure without the more expensive aspects of a funeral which are less environmentally sound and have a larger carbon footprint. Green funerals are also often less expensive than funerals with the aforementioned practices.

Funerals with embalming, expensive caskets, vaults, and other options often considered traditional for a burial often cost a significant amount of money, often many thousands of dollars. Sometimes people choose to be buried simply in a cotton shroud. Also, vaults and steel containers aren’t biodegradable. Embalming is also not necessarily environmentally friendly. Embalming fluid may make a corpse look “natural”, but embalming fluid is often drained from the deceased and flushed down a drain, contaminating water supplies. The choice to not embalmed a deceased person often provides more closure to people who would rather not prolong the viewing process with embalming.

Cremation presents often destructive challenges. One downside of cremation is what to do with ashes. Scattering ashes often contaminates forests, pools, lakes, or other natural formations. A coffin made of biodegradable woods presents a more environmentally sound option to cremation.

If the minimization of a carbon footprint is important for you, check the distance the simpler casket has been transported. A simpler casket made of biodegradable materials also works around the fact that many funeral homes are not obliged or legally forbidden from taking back coffins without extra charge.

The Legacy Park Alternative

It’s important to remember that burial of any type often isn’t possible where funeral plots are at a premium or simply not available. Burial is often considered the most traditional option. However, this option is increasingly unavailable. In Australia, burial plots are filling fast, with some cemeteries projected to reach full occupancy in a few years. Zoning restrictions have limited the expansion of cemeteries or the creation of new cemeteries. About 54% of Australians choose to be cremated with this option expanding by half a percent each year. Again, environmentally sustainable and non-polluting alternatives exist, such as growing human ashes into a tree.

One such alternative is the legacy garden. One such garden is Mornington Green. Here, treated ashes are combined with soil to create legacy trees, a living memorial of the deceased. Ashes are used to create a legacy tree park where relatives can visit the deceased buried as a tree. A plaque memorialises a tree. The aggregate of legacy trees creates a park where people can rest in the shade of the trees. Also, this place of repose offers activities such as high teas, picnics, lunches, and refreshments at a function area.

Trained arborists, in consultation with Living Legacy Forests, convert ashes from an alkaline pH range of 10 to 14 to a more soil-friendly range of 4 to 7. Ashes even 60 years old can be used in plantings. Trees can be planted before death only to be nourished by ashes at a later date. It’s even possible to combine ashes from up to four people into the soil for one tree. Trees that die prematurely can be rejuvenated by bio-liquids that energise microbes that change ash into nutrients for a new tree. An extensive sprinkler system, combined with the placement of Mornington trees away from bush and other lands easily alighted ensures that the trees of the legacy park will not burn away in the event of a fire.

A legacy park, with its shady trees and intentional design, offers a unique option that is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally conscious. Mornington Green offers these options in a solution that prospers and grows into living memorials.

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