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Transform Grief Into Environmental Healing with Memorial Trees

#Transform Grief Into Environmental Healing with Memorial Trees

The loss of a beloved family member is one of the most challenging times humans face. There is no simple solution to process the deep emotional loss. However, we can find ways to manage the intense grief through a meaningful memorial, planting a tree in memory is another natural way to honor someone.

A Memorial Tree cleans the surrounding air and provides habitat for wildlife. It creates a legacy that helps protect local ecosystems and green spaces, inviting nature to play a role in our emotional and mental healing.

Choosing a Memorial Tree

Choosing a Memorial Tree is a simple yet significant process. It typically begins by choosing your preferred Memorial Forest, a dedicated area where your loved one’s ashes will be placed,  and tree species. Explore available trees online or schedule a free in-person tour with a guide who canhelp find the tree that fits your needs and budget. Then, people often visit the Memorial Forest to see their Memorial Tree in-person.

When it’s time, schedule a Forest Memorial service during which  cremation or aquamation ashes are returned to the earth at the base of your  Memorial Tree. Ashes are integrated with native forest soil at the memorial table. The ash and soil mixture is placed at the base of your tree, cradled by a nest of forest floor. Share readings, songs, memories – whatever feels right to you. After the earth has settled, forest guides place a custom-inscribed memorial marker at the base of your Memorial Tree.

Choosing a Memorial Tree over conventional methods of burial is a declaration of one’s  dedication to environmental stewardship. It’s a choice that reaps results with time as the tree grows. It symbolizes life, peace, and evidence of your love and affection for the soul you lost.

The Environmental Impact of Memorial Trees

Trees perform the vital task of absorbing carbon dioxide and exhaling life-sustaining oxygen. Opting for a Memorial Tree is, in essence, contributing to the purification of our air.

Beyond their role as air purifiers, memorial trees contribute to the wider forest ecosystem. They support birds, shelter insects, and offer sustenance to wildlife, creating a blend of life-affirming activity from a single act of remembrance. The roots anchor the soil, preventing erosion and preserving the land’s integrity against nature’s tempests.

In essence, the act of choosing a Memorial Tree weaves a narrative of life, legacy, and environmental consciousness, marking a path for future generations to be responsible and thoughtful about the earth and its greens. Your act of remembrance leaves a positive environmental legacy.

Comparing Environmental Impacts

While traditional burials allow for intimately marking a loved one’s resting place, they have a significant environmental toll. Cemeteries consume vast amounts of land that could support ecosystems.

The chemical fluids used to prepare the body, along with non-biodegradable caskets and concrete vaults, introduce harsh substances that contaminate the soil. In contrast, Memorial Trees are a 100% natural way to return to the earth. As living tributes, they purify the air, prevent erosion, create wildlife habitats, and leave a positive legacy aligned with nature’s cycles. Planting a Memorial Tree honors your loved one while giving back to the planet.

The American Planning Association estimates that about one acre of cemetery land is needed for every thousand people. As cities grow and change, cemeteries increasingly need to be moved. Imagine, instead, what we could do if all those cemeteries served as green spaces.

Cremation  is often considered more eco-responsible than traditional burial, but it still carries an environmental cost. The cremation process uses fossil fuels, generating carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change. Mercury from dental work is also released into the atmosphere. Additionally, cremated remains contain environmental pollutants.

Memorial Trees can help offset carbon from cremation because they absorb CO2 as they grow.

Aquamation, or alkaline hydrolysis, is a “greener” alternative to cremation and traditional burials. The process involves the use of an alkali solution rather than fire. Nevertheless, it still generates emissions and produces chemical byproducts that require special disposal. It is possible to spread aquamation remains around a Memorial Tree.

Taking Steps Forward, Growing A Future For Humans & Wildlife

The weight of grief can feel unbearable, leaving us searching for healing. Thinking of a living Memorial Tree offers a meaningful path forward, blending the intimate ritual of honoring a loved one with positive action for the planet. And a Memorial Forest is a healing place which to return to and remember those you lost.

Planting ritual mirrors the nurturing you provided your loved one. As seasons pass, watching the tree’s cycles brings you peace. Your grief is transformed into an offering of environmental restoration.

About the Author

Brad Milne is co-founder of Better Place Forests. He is an entrepreneur with a passion for helping people and our planet. With a wish to ensure a peaceful and dignified final farewell for every American, he actively advocates for sensible memorialization options, green burials, and other eco-friendly alternatives to end-of-life options.

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