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Zero Waste Memorial: 5 Great, Thoughtful Ideas

Is it possible for us to conduct a zero waste memorial for our beloved departed?

zero waste memorials

Grieving is fine. Letting go and saying goodbye who just passed away is very difficult, but we need to. As we bid our farewells to our deceased loved ones, we tend to do some activities to commemorate and remember all the memories we had with them.

Releasing balloons is a common ritual in funerals. It symbolizes our release or letting go of our loved ones. But have you ever wondered when you release these balloons, “Where are these heading?”

It may be stuck in a tree or electric wiring, or maybe a tower. It may also pop, and add another trash to the environment. The balloons you have released will likely be another waste piled up in one’s neighborhood or an animal’s ecosystem like the forest or the ocean.

We need to think differently on how we honor or memorialize our loved ones after death. Balloons, after all, don’t go to heaven and just end up as waste. Why not go the extra mile and think of the world, taking care of the planet which your loved ones lived?

Respect them by taking care of the planet they once loved, laughed, cried, and lived in.⠀ Honor them by keeping the Earth they once loved and lived in clean and thriving.

Zero Waste Memorials

Here are five ways to remember departed loved ones by being eco-friendly to the environment at the same time.

Plant Trees

A very eco-friendly way of remembering and honoring a loved one is to plant a tree. This is ultimately a fully zero waste memorial. You have saved the environment from adding waste, you have also contributed a good source of clean air to breathe. What makes it more meaningful is that, a living legacy was created to give honor to the life of a person.

The first thing you need to do with this kind of tribute is to find a space where you will be planting the tree. If you have a yard, it will be the perfect spot. You will see it grow and can easily be viewed by the window. If these are well taken care of, it will last longer than you expected. You have not only planted something for the environment, you have also made a place to visit when you miss the person.

Here are some options for trees to plant:

It is one of the trees which has the longest lifespan. It can live for 1000 years and goes through a lot of changes. From one single acorn to a 50 to 100 feet tall tree. This type of tree shouldn’t be planted on sidewalks because of its trunk flairs. In order to plant a tree like this, you must need to consider other things surrounding it.

  • Dogwood

In two to three years after being planted, it is now well-developed, and it is flowering. When it is in a good condition, it lives for about 80 years and grows up to 40 feet tall.

  • Weeping Willow

It is a fast-growing tree the grows up to 10 feet per year, but it cannot live long enough like the other trees. Its lifespan is 30 years. 

  • Eastern Red Bud

Red buds are small trees around 20 to 30 feet tall and 15-35 feet in width and it lives for 10 to 20 years.

  • Blue Spruce

The official tree of Colorado that grows in parks, gardens, and in the wild. It grows up to 75 ft in the wild and will be able to live for more than 200 year. If planted in house yards, if it is well taken care of, it lives for 40 to 60 years.

  • Red Mahogany

It is described as a majestic tree. It grows up to 200 ft in height with leaves of 20 inches long. It will live for 350 years.

Make Donations

Instead of doing activities like balloon release, another eco-friendly thing you can do is to donate. The person who has passed had left some stuff; find some of his things that can still be used. You may give it to a charity or a foundation or maybe you can just create a new foundation and name it by your deceased loved one’s name.

Here are some useful things that can be donated:

  • Money
  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Books
  • Furniture
  • Kitchenware

Walk/Run for a Cause

Organize a walk or run for a cause. May it be for an awareness that is connected to the cause of the death of a person, or maybe just to gather people who are grieving. This activity will be a memorable one because people had gathered to join you in remembering the person.

Candle Lighting

This is the most traditional way of remembering departed loved one. Lighting a single candle can be a very reflecting moment; a very calming way of remembering all the memories you had with the person. As a bonus, when you use eco-friendly candles, you will have a guilt-free and intimate moment of reminiscing.

Here is some type of candle you can use:

  • Beeswax

A natural, edible, non-toxic, hypo-allergenic wax that are produced by honeybees. Basically, these are produced for their honeycombs, but people made use of it, such as candle making. Beeswax candles are not harmful to the environment and to a person’s health. It burns slowly and it helps in neutralizing toxins in the air.

  • Coconut Wax

The most sustainable wax is the coconut wax because they are grown carefully by farms in Southeast Asia. It is a natural byproduct because there were no pesticides or other chemicals used in planting them. It may be the purest wax, but it also the most expensive. Despite its cost, it burns slowly and when lit, the fumes are clean.

  • Rapeseed Wax

Rapeseed is a natural vegetable was are locally grown in Europe. The candles produced using this ingredient has a lot of reasons why it is a great candle choice. Aside from being sustainable, it also has a low carbon footprint, it is non-hazardous for humans and animals, and it does not produce harmful toxins which may harm the environment. The candle also burns slowly in low temperature it evaporates aromatic fragrance.

Float aquatic plants

This is usually done for those who are cremated. When the time of scattering the ashes comes, typically most likely done in streams or lake, people will release flowers. To be eco-friendly, choose flowers that are grown in your area.

Here are some flowers you can release in water

  • Lotus    

The most famous aquatic flower in a water garden. It is usually grown in ponds or lakes and it comes in pink and white. It needs direct sunlight to grow up to 20 inches in length. It naturally opens in the morning and it closes at night, and it produces a fruity scent.

  • Water Lily

The most beautiful aquatic flower that exist. It grows in shallow parts of ponds in tropical and temperate regions in the world. It comes with different colors like pink, yellow, red, white, etc. and it has 70 different species.

  • Hyacinth

It is an aquatic plant that is native to tropical South America. It grows in ponds, streams, ditches and lakes. It is known for its thick, glossy, round leaves and comes in blue or violet in color. It needs sunlight to grow, it absorbs nutrients in the water, and it reduces the accumulating number of algae. It usually has a measure of 4 to 8 inches, and it is known for producing vigorously.

What do you think?

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