JOURNAL 223 - Magazine Writing Blog Post #2
TOPIC: 3-4 facts relating to your story topic.
Traditional Jewish burials are fairly environmentally conscious. They do not include embalming fluid or cremation and coffins are simply made with wood and no metal tools or adornments.
Each year in the United States, the items listed below are buried in the earth:
827,060 gallons of embalming fluid, which includes formaldehyde
180,544,000 pounds of steel, in caskets
5,400,000 pounds of copper and bronze in caskets
30 million board feet of hardwoods in caskets
3,272,000,000 pounds of reinforced concrete vaults and 28,000,000 pounds of steel in vaults (from Mary Woodsen, Cornell University)
Sea burials are another green burial option - A full body burial at-sea is carried out in approved federal waters 6 miles from shore at a depth of 600 – 2000 feet. The un-embalmed body is buried in either a metal casket or wrapped in a natural 100% Biodegradable custom sailcloth shroud and weighted with 160 lbs of pebble stone ballast.
Green burials can be cheaper than traditional methods because the labor and equipment involved is less intensive (no expensive casket, embalming, burial vault, or fancy headstone).