This article was first published on January 9, 2019. The piece touches on sensitive yet relevant topics, so we want to share this article again. […]
Most traditional casket-in-ground burials today are really, really bad for the environment, but it wasn’t always this way in the US.
Our burial rituals have changed a great deal in the last few hundred years. For the early white settlers, illness and death were common affairs, and family plots were the most economical and matter-of-fact way to remember your loved ones and keep them close. There was no embalming, and if there was a casket, it was very simple and made of wood. Ceremonies were common but weren’t as elaborate as they are today.
The way we bury has also changed the materials we use—notably, we use many more materials—and that has a snowball effect.[…]
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