Capstones

Graduation Date

Fall 12-16-2016

First Advisor

Keith Kloor

Subject Concentration

Health & Science

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Abstract

Nearly 80 million baby boomers are approaching the end of their lives. Being more environmentally conscious than previous generations, the environmentally minded individuals are increasingly choosing natural burial as the next progression of sustainability — reducing an individual impact even after death. A 2015 poll conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the Funeral and Memorial Information Council found that 64 percent of adults over the age of 40 were interested in natural burial, up from 21 percent in 2010. Individuals who have chosen natural burial indicate the environmental benefit as a primary reason for their decision. There are currently over 300 natural cemeteries in the United States, many of which are designated as wildlife and nature preserves. An article published earlier this year in the journal Urban Forestry and Urban Greening examined a natural cemetery in Berlin, Germany, similar to the ones found in the United States, and discovered an ecosystem rich in biodiversity, with 604 unique species. The study attributes this species richness to the lack of human intervention, a stark contrast to the conventional cemeteries often found in the United States. Link to Capstone Project: https://brandonshaik.github.io/capstone/.

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