Green Burials?

A colleague recently gave me a somewhat morbid topic to blog about, which is why I saved it for Halloween. So far, I've written about green Halloween, make-up, food, and most recently, dating, but now burials?

In Hawaii and other places by the sea, it is common enough for one's remains to be scattered in the ocean. Now, a company called Eternal Reefs, is adding a twist by offering an environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional burials. The "reef balls" are artificial reefs made by mixing cremated remains with concrete. Reef balls are placed next to each other to create a habitat for sea life. According to the website, it would only take a few months for the remains to look like a natural reef.

Based in Atlanta, the company even provides the exact latitude and longitude of where the reef is placed so people can visit the site by boat or scuba dive. The memorials are currently limited to the east coast and the costs range from $2,495 to $6,495, not including the cost of cremation. There are also reef options for pets.

While it's not something I'd like to think about, it does seem like a cool idea. It would only work, however, in habitats that are void of thriving reefs (since you would not want it to compete with healthy, living systems). I am also interested to know how the reef balls age in time and if the ingredients are safe for the environment should degradation occur. If anything, I would say this is a creative step toward finding environmentally-friendly alternatives to common, less green practices.