We like to tell folks our environmentally-friendly funerals are traditional in style, but "greener" in detail. We first introduced Green Funerals and Green Burial to the families of the region as our response to the growing global green burial movement. Today, more and more people know Corley Funeral Home is one of very few funeral establishments in North Central Texas to offer eco-friendly funerals. If you're already convinced that "going green" is right for your situation, and you're ready to speak to a licensed staff member about our green funeral services, please call us at 903-874-3755.
But, to learn more about our environmentally-friendly funerals before you call, we encourage you to read the few short paragraphs which follow.
Corley's Spectrum of Green Services
The reality of our eco-friendly funeral and eco-friendly burial services is they lie along a spectrum. At one end lies modern funeral practices, considered to adversely affect the environment; at the other end: that of "purist" green. This is the end of the spectrum where every element of the ritual, as well as the cremation or interment, and every action taken by survivors; leaves no negative impact on the earth, air or water of this planet.
Let's talk first about the traditional side of the spectrum. In the fascinating book, Grave Matters (2008), author Mark Harris writes of the environmental impact of modern funeral practices: "The typical 10-acre swath of cemetery ground...contains enough coffin wood to construct more than 40 homes, nine hundred-plus tons of casket steel, and another twenty thousand tons of vault concrete." Add to that any embalming chemicals used, and it's easy to see why environmentalists and academics, like Carl Zimmig and William Rathje, are concerned. (In the two- volume Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage, they noted "Traditional cemeteries are increasingly becoming regarded as a hazard to the environment and a waste of resources."
So, what lies at the other end of the spectrum? That's where there's an unembalmed body within a biodegradable casket, interred in a dedicated natural burial ground. There's no visible evidence of the burial: no etched headstone or grave marker. Or there's a cremation, which takes place under rigorous environmental standards; and a scattering or burial of the cremated remains in a biodegradable urn.
Corley Funeral Home's funeral services fall all along that array; we provide traditional funeral arrangements to those who desire them; but for many others, some version of our eco-friendly funerals meets their needs. If that describes you; give us a call at 903-874-3755 to discuss our eco-friendly funeral options.
What Makes an Environmentally-Friendly Funeral?
As we noted in Green Funerals and Green Burial, the eco-friendly funeral is any end-of-life ritual that is as harmless as possible for the environment. You can see how that wide definition gives us space in which to create an environmentally-friendly funeral that combines both the comforting elements of tradition, while living up to the environmentally-consciousness standards of many of today's families.
Corley Funeral Home's Green Showroom
Any funeral home committed to serving families interested in eco-friendly funeral services needs to also have a wide selection of environmentally-friendly products to choose from, such as biodegradable urns, environmentally-friendly caskets, and burial shrouds. Our staff is very familiar with each of the eco-friendly funeral and eco-friendly burial products we offer, so you'll receive the best possible support in making your decisions.
Biodegradable Urns: A wide variety of biodegradable urns is available for ground or water burial. They are made from sustainable recyclable and environmentally-friendly materials, such as paper, cornstarch or salt.
Environmentally-Friendly Caskets: Without doubt, the casket is a critical part of what we call a traditional funeral service. When you select an eco-friendly casket made from sustainable materials, you've significantly reduced the impact of burial on the environment.
Burial Shrouds: Everyone is familiar with a shroud: it's a long piece of linen or other cloth which is wrapped around a body in preparation for burial. The shrouded body is usually, but not always, placed directly in the grave without a casket. Shrouds can be used in some of our local cemeteries.
Environmentally-Friendly Burial in North Central Texas
While there are two dedicated natural burial grounds in the State, the Ethician Family Cemetery, which is about 90 miles north of Houston; and Eloise Woods Community Burial Park, in Austin; the distance is often just too far for the survivors to travel to the place of burial often, if at all. But there are ways to have a natural, "greener" burial in a local convention cemetery.
This is because of the operational policies of many of our local conventional cemeteries, like Resthaven Memorial Park, or the Dresden, Elrod and Campbell cemeteries; some of which allow for burial without a burial vault or grave liner. (These are commonly required to prevent natural soil subsidence which occurs as the weight of the back-filled dirt crushes the decomposing casket). This fact of omission allows you to arrange for a "greener" burial in a local conventional cemetery. In what we call our "greener" burial service, no embalming is done; and working with one of these local "hybrid" cemeteries; a biodegradable burial takes place, using simple wooden or wicker caskets, or textile shrouds.
Why does eco-friendly burial matter? Because modern funeral practices are far from "kind to the environment". In his book Grave Matters (2008), author Mark Harris writes of the environmental impact of modern funeral practices, which have resulted in the interment of tons of wood, metal and cement in cemeteries across the country. Add to that any embalming chemicals used, and it's easy to see why environmentalists and academics, like Carl Zimmig and William Rathje, are concerned. (In the two- volume Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage, they noted "Traditional cemeteries are increasingly becoming regarded as a hazard to the environment and a waste of resources."
Looking for Eco-Friendly Funeral and Environmentally-Friendly Burial Services?
You don't need to look any further; Corley Funeral Home is a leader in environmentally-friendly funerals. We are, in fact, one of only two Texas funeral homes partnered with AGreenerFuneral.org, an organization which supports the "greening" of funeral service. If you're interested in making funeral arrangements which are aligned with your commitment to reducing the size of the carbon footprint you'll leave behind after death; you owe it to yourself to look more closely at our eco-friendly funeral services Corley Funeral Home can do for you. Call us at 903-874-3755 today to start the "green" conversation.