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Green burial, cremation becoming more widely available

Green burial, cremation becoming more widely available


Most people are buried or cremated in traditional ways, but green burials and green cremation methods are becoming more widely available.

Green burials use biodegradable shrouds or containers and don’t involve embalming, metal caskets or, typically, concrete vaults. They have been offered at Circle Cemetery near Barneveld since 2010 and Natural Path Sanctuary in Verona since 2011.

The Infinity Burial Suit, which can be used in green burials, is made of mushrooms and other microorganisms. The mixture breaks down the body, neutralizes its toxins and transfers nutrients to the soil, according to Coeio, which makes the suit.

Some people consider cremation to be more environmentally friendly than burial. Others say emissions from flame-based cremation are a concern, especially if the body has dental fillings containing mercury.

One form of green cremation is resomation, also known as alkaline hydrolysis or liquefaction. It uses water, potassium hydroxide and pressure to accelerate the decomposition process and reduce the body to bone ash.

Resomation is not available in Wisconsin. It is offered by Bradshaw Funeral and Cremation Services in Stillwater, Minnesota, east of the Twin Cities and near the Wisconsin border.

Another alternative to cremation is promession, which involves freezing the body in liquid nitrogen and vibrating it into a powder. It is available in parts of Europe.

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