Green burial growing in Western UP

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CHASSELL, Mich. (WLUC) - All across the country, people are going green with their final wishes. Both Chassell Township and Forest Hill cemeteries in Houghton County have added green burial options.

"The basics of green burial is essentially an equation that says take two things out of a traditional burial and add one thing back in,” said Stephen Jukuri, Keweenaw Green Burial Alliance President.

Green burial skips a cement vault and formaldehyde embalming. Instead, it uses all biodegradable materials.

"For example, some come simply because of carbon footprint. Cremation does, as I say, make people go up in smoke. It pollutes, it burns a lot of energy,” Jukuri said. “Green burial means that you slip yourself under the ground and you sequester carbon, actually, that way."

Land at green burial sites is allowed to return to a natural state once all plots are filled. Many choose this option for spiritual reasons or connection with nature.

"I guess I've always felt that we humans try to make our lives meaningful, and now as I am getting older I'm thinking well maybe there is a way we can continue to do what is right for the planet in the way we handle our death,” said Keweenaw Green Burial Alliance member Carolyn Peterson.

Finances can be another reason to go green.

"For some people, they don't want to be cremated, but they want a more economical burial, and green burial is considerably cheaper because you take out the expense of the vault and you can take out the expense of the embalming in the process,” Jukuri said.

More information is available by clicking here.

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