Grim Reaper is Going Green

Eco-friendly burials catching on

By Brian Hamacher
|  Monday, Jul 6, 2009  |  Updated 2:03 PM PDT
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Green Ghosts

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If you drive a Prius and eat granola, you might like a green burial.

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Green Ghosts

South Floridians can be eco-friendly as they make the trip to the afterlife with a green burial.
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You've gone green by recycling and driving a hybrid, and now you can stay green as you go to the grave.

Eco-friendly burials may soon be all the rage in South Florida with more funeral homes offering the deceased a chance to save the environment, even if they can't save themselves.

Mortuaries like Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home in Fort Myers are making the trip to the afterlife greener with all biodegradable materials, like using wooden or wicker caskets instead of steel, and without using concrete burial vaults or wasting fossil fuels in a cremation.

"It is just an ashes to ashes, dust to dust proposition," Donnell Sullivan, with Memorial Gardens, told WBBH. "As a cemetary, we're certainly looking for every way we can to preserve our land use."

No embalming fluids are used, and there'll be no gravestone, meaning a green burial will cost about 75 percent less than a traditional one. Still, not everybody is ready to go green while they rest in peace.

"We've had some conversations with folks. It hasn't caught on by any means, but we're just ready," Sullivan said. "You're talking about people who are thinking about cremation and thinking about other ways to bury people, this is probably just as weird or creepy."

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