Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day: Green Memorials

I warned my husband that I was going to find another soap box to stand on after I walked the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. The walk is less the two weeks away and I don’t think I’ll be able to wait that long and Earth Day seems to be a very appropriate day to climb on to my soap box…

One of the flowers I came across on my last training was anything but natural. Plastic poinsettias blown from a grave. The street along the cemetery always has plastic and silk flowers that have blown way from the graves they were meant to honor. Every time there is a storm or even a moderate wind more of these unnatural memorials are blown from their graves to the streets and yards of the nearby neighborhoods. They go from lovely sediment to litter with just one gust of wind. If they aren’t picked up in time they get blown or washed into nearby storm drains and washed into our water ways.

I would like to see what can be done about limiting graveside memorials to one which cannot be blown away (stone) or biodegradable (real flowers). There may be even a market for artificial flowers made out of corn like the biodegradable packing peanuts which would be more environmentally friendly. I’m hoping with all of the environmental awareness the cemetery owners and associations will agree post rules or suggestions as well as have grounds keepers remove plastic and silk flowers, balloons, etc on a continuous schedule to keep the surrounding neighborhoods clean and protect our environment.

Now that the soap box has been pulled out, I just need to find what the next step should be.


  1. There are packing peanuts made from corn stuff are biodegradable. If flowers were made out of the same material they would last longer then fresh but not as long as the plastic or silk flower. This could be a good compromise for those who want flowers to last and the fish who don't want to be speared by them or have the fake flowers acting like a net collecting other trash.

  2. I saw an article in the China Post the other day that covered this idea. But this link was the only one I found. Perhaps more people should hear about this option.


  3. I love the cardboard coffin idea. It is a different direction then I was going but a great idea to get out there.

    I have to admit when I checked out the coffin covers to make it look fancier I had the additional thought that it might be perfect for stage productions. Fold-a-way light weight fancy coffin covers look like fancy coffins. Perfect for the cardboard coffins and theatre.