Ways to Lower Your Carbon Footprint in Life and Death

As global warming threatens our planet, an increasing number of people are becoming conscious of how daily life creates a significant impact upon the environment. But have many people considered how their death can affect the environment?. Death is the only certainty in life, and it is time that humans think about how they can protect the planet for future generations after they die and when they are alive. Here are some ways to lower your carbon footprint in life and death.

green-burial

Life

There are many ways to lower your carbon footprint in daily life. One of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions is carbon dioxide from motor vehicles. We can remedy this by walking, cycling or taking public transport instead of driving. If a car is necessary, consider buying an electric car or drive more efficiently by taking your foot off the gas and maintaining your car.

You can reduce your footprint around the house by turning down your heating and water temperature, replacing traditional light bulbs with LED ones, and turning off appliances and gadgets when they aren’t in use. Opt for Eco Mode on devices that allow it and buy energy-efficient kitchen appliances.

energy-monitor-for-home

Insulating your home is essential. Choose high-quality insulation for roof and walls, install energy-efficient windows and doors, and ensure that all gaps are completely sealed.

Recycling paper, plastic, and aluminum where possible will ensure you are doing your part in reducing the amount of landfill produced in the world.

Death

You can remain environmentally friendly even when you have shuffled off this mortal coil by having a green funeral.

Some conventional cemeteries and crematoriums have designated green areas within their grounds. The first green cemetery opened in the USA in 1998, and now close to 100 exist in the country. Some environmentally friendly burial grounds consist of vast expanses of land, giving homes to many species of trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and animals. The land becomes hallowed ground and cannot be touched for eternity. It truly is a place of eternal, peaceful rest. Instead of a traditional stone or concrete headstone marking the grave, a tree can be planted as a beautiful, green alternative.

To reduce your carbon footprint in death, every aspect of a funeral should be considered. The memorial ceremony should be at a place close to the deceased’s home so that travel emissions are kept to a minimum. The body should be contained in a coffin made from wicker, cardboard, sustainably harvested wood, or wrapped in a cotton shroud. Steel caskets, brass and gold handles, and adornments should be eliminated in favor of 100% biodegradable materials.

Chemicals used to embalm bodies so as to preserve them for mourners to view them prior to burial or cremation can be harmful to flora and fauna as they may leech into the ground. Alternative preservation techniques are now being considered, such as embalming the deceased’s body with dry ice. Any human-made materials should be kept to a minimum.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the CEO of BioEnergy Consult, and an international consultant, advisor and trainer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. Salman has participated in numerous national and international conferences all over the world. He is a prolific environmental journalist, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. In addition, he is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability through his blogs and portals. Salman can be reached at salman@bioenergyconsult.com or salman@cleantechloops.com.
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