Going Green when Going Away

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Aug. 14, 2017 at 4:14 PM CDT
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The way people are buried is changing.

300 acres of pine trees in Walton County are replacing the traditional pine coffin.

John Wilkerson with the Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve says:

"They're all wood that grew right here."

John Wilkerson and brother Bill are turning these pine trees into bio-degradable handmade caskets.

Wilkerson says:

"I personally have a belief that says you get, get into heaven bonus points for keeping things out of the landfill."

Green funerals are catching on.

The Wilkersons’ have buried 95 people in their eco-friendly cemetery.

Robert Byrd, Funeral Director at Sunset Memorial Park says:

"I think green burials are here to stay.."

He's offered green funerals for a decade.

Wilkerson says:

"Everything goes back to the earth ultimately; we all do sooner or later so it just speeds up the process that's all."

Byrd says green saves green----a traditional funeral averages nearly $9,000.

A green funeral can be less than half that.

Wilkerson finishes with:

"Death is part of life and it's going to happen we might as well get ready and get used to it and make the best of it."

For a growing number of people, the best is going green when going away.

Alabama law doesn't require a body be embalmed.

However, funeral homes usually require embalming if there is going to be a viewing.

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