The environmentally-conscious “green” lifestyle may be one of the most beneficial movements in the world today, yet most people only associate green with living. For people who want to preserve the environment, the practice of green funerals and burials present a way to make the end of life more meaningful too.
The staff Hansen-Spear Funeral Home is proud to offer green burial and cremation options. These options give families the ability to choose a more eco-friendly way to celebrate the life of their loved one.
Green burials are a relatively “new” practice based on techniques used by some cultures for thousands of years. Green burial generally means that the body, which is not embalmed, is buried in an eco-friendly casket or shroud in a manner that allows it to return to the earth as quickly as possible. That is why green burials are also called natural burials or eco-burials.
Even in a conventional cemetery you can still choose a greener burial. Use a green casket or a shroud. If possible, decline the use of a concrete vault or liner. Vaults and liners are designed to prevent the grave from sinking when the casket and body decompose, and many cemeteries require the minimum use of a concrete grave liner.
There are not currently any green cemeteries or burial grounds in the Quincy, Illinois area. The closest known green cemeteries are located in Springfield, Illinois (111 miles) and Columbia, Missouri (116 miles). For more information on green cemeteries visit agreenerfuneral.org.
Eco-Friendly Cremation Options
For families that choose cremation, there are many choices that allow for a more eco-friendly final farewell. These eco-friendly options come in various designs and styles to suit your families individual needs for the final disposition of the cremated remains. Eco-friendly urns can be kept at home or buried in a cemetery. Biodegradable urns are available that can be used for both water and ground burials. Water burial can be done with a suitable urn designed to sink quickly and dissolve within hours or days, reducing the impact on aquatic life. If you prefer to scatter the ashes, there are specially designed, recyclable scattering tubes that allow clean, easy scattering. The tube can then be recycled after use.
Note: Water burial and scattering may be governed by federal and local laws.
The Seagrass Caskets are fabricated by hand primarily from willow and as an added design feature include attractive seagrass rope woven into the willow on the sides of the casket. This sturdy casket design has a slightly rounded top used to finish the elegant, yet simple design. Each casket is fully lined with a natural, unbleached fitted cotton interior and includes a matching pillow and privacy shield.
The seagrass used to produce this casket is not harvested from delicate marine environments, but rather cultivated in rice paddy-like fields that are seasonally flooded to support the growing seagrass plant.
Six Point Bamboo Casket
The beautiful and elegant Six Point Bamboo Coffin features a fully lined with a natural unbleached cotton interior and optional engravable plaque. Included with each coffin is a pillow, along with a simple, matching shroud with which to wrap or cover the body.
This coffin is suitable for identification, viewing and services followed by cremation or burial.
When buried directly in the earth (without liner/vault) this coffin will break down naturally over time.
Bamboo urns will not biodegrade until they are buried, making them ideal for keeping at home, in a columbarium or in a cemetery niche.
Our Traditional Bamboo Urns are handcrafted from 3/4” bamboo plywood which is a sustainable and rapidly renewable resource. This bamboo is plantation grown and is not a species that is consumed by endangered Panda populations.
Our Tribute Bamboo Urns are handcrafted from 1/2” bamboo plywood. The bamboo used to produce the urns is found commonly, and grows rapidly in mountain regions of China. It is widely used throughout Asia, but is not a species that is consumed by endangered Panda populations.
The Floral Bouquet urn features handmade paper flowers inset into the decorative blue top. The Autumn Leaves urn is made from elegant black handmade paper inlaid with real leaves. These urns are available in Standard, Medium, and Mini sizes.
The beautiful heart shape of the Unity Earthurn provides a soft and warm feel to the urn. Hand crafted from the bark of a mulberry tree, each Earthurn has a unique feel and finish. Once the urn is buried, it will biodegrade naturally over time.
The Unity Earthurn is available in Floral (pictured) Wood-Grain and Pastel designs.
Sand Urns are produced using sustainable materials to create an attractive and environmentally-friendly alternative for families. Each urn is hand-painted by skilled artisans and some designs include real beach sand (or crushed quartz) applied to the outer surface of the urn. The urns have holes in the bottom, to allow water to enter quickly so that they float only briefly and then gracefully sink when placed into water.
Each urn includes a biodegradable bag into which the cremated remains must be placed. No glue is required to seal the urn. Simply remove the lid, carefully moisten the inside lip and replace the lid. It will seal itself. The urns are produced with a vegetable-based gelatin.
When buried in the ground, the urn will biodegrade within three months. Once placed in water, the urn will break down within three days.
Shell Urns are hand-crafted from non-toxic, food-grade recycled paper. Each urn comes with a custom carrying case. Matching keepsakes are also available and provide families with the opportunity to retain a portion of their loved ones’ cremated remains. They are a perfect complement to any biodegradable or scattering urn.
Himalayan Rock Salt Urn
Himalayan Rock Salt Urns are individually hand crafted from solid blocks of Himalayan rock salt deposits over 250 million years old and believed to be the purest on earth. As a result of the handmade and natural qualities of the Passages Salt Urns, each is unique in both color and finish. The urns will dissolve within 4 hours when placed in water. Minor cracking and chips occur naturally, adding to the character of these beautiful urns.
Journey Earthurns are hand-crafted from sustainably produced, biodegradable paper. When placed in water they float briefly then sink to the bottom, where they break down naturally over time. The urns are available in 6 colors: Aqua (pictured), Natural, Green, Navy, Embossed Pearl and Embossed Fern.
The Passages Collection of Scattering Tubes features 16 designs and is engineered to simplify the scattering process. The tubes are durable, dignified and simple to use. Each features a convenient removable lid and an industry-first, perforated “push in” tab that opens easily prior to scattering. They contain no metal or plastic components and can be recycled or composted after use. Suitable for “in-cabin” airline transportation.