Oshtemo is leading the way in the new all natural trend of interment without a casket. Green burials are the ultimate in recycling.

Burial rites have been sacred throughout the ages. There are as many customs as there are tribes and faith traditions. It can sometimes become complicated when weighing the wishes of the deceased against that of family members. Eco friendly green burials are sure to add to the debate and discussion.

Green burials are the eternally Earth friendly practice of burying the deceased without a coffin. This leaves Nature to do its work and nourish other forms of plant and animal organisms in the environment, completing the circle of life.

Green burial allows full body interment into the ground in a manner that does not inhibit decomposition. The three top defining characteristics of any green burial are absence of a vault, non-toxic preparation of the body, and use of containers made of organic materials. Green burial funerals provide families with a rich, meaningful, and healing experience while furthering legitimate environmental and societal aims such as protecting worker health, reducing carbon emissions, conserving natural resources, and preserving habitat.

-Green Burial Council

 

While there are no specific state laws against green burials in Michigan, many funeral home and cemetery policies prohibit the practice. Now, the Oshtemo Township Cemetery Ordinance has been updated to define and include regulations for green burials.

Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition, a group dedicated to "mobilizing collective action to achieve immediate and drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and rapid adoption of renewable energy through a transition grounded in social, racial, economic, and environmental justice," was quick to share the news on their Facebook page, exclaiming, "this is huge."

Get our free mobile app

So, if the practical side of you sees no use in spending thousands of dollars on a casket that just gets buried six feet in the ground and is never seen again and you want to be eco-friendly to the afterlife, your legacy can go on in a different way with a green burial.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.