Green burials

If you don’t like the idea of being embalmed and buried in an expensive casket, perhaps a “green burial” is for you.

[‘Green burials” are] part of a growing movement to eliminate toxic chemicals or nonbiodegradable materials from end-of-life rituals by forgoing embalming, vaults, tombstones and metal caskets.

Green services cost an average of $4,900, about one-third the price of more traditional options.

Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery near Austin is Texas’ only cemetery to be recognized so far by the emerging industry’s leading organization.

As the environmentally friendly burial movement grows, others, including a Houston land developer who recently bought a picturesque piece of land outside Brenham, are aiming to capitalize on the demand.

The movement’s popularity has increased in the past decade as aging baby boomers — who grew up challenging social norms and examining their relationships to religion, family and the environment — consider their mortality, according to the nonprofit Green Burial Council.

“This concept resonates with Texans more than any other state,” the council’s founder, Joe Sehee, said. Those favoring the green option here often are not doing it as a final act of environmental activism, he said, but out of a desire to be close to the land, to return to biblical practices or as an alternative to embalming without choosing cremation.

Personally, if the “Star Trek” method of having your particles beamed into space isn’t yet practical, I plan to request cremation. But maybe this method is for you.

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