The Backyard

The Backyard

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yup - You Too Can Be Buried "Green"

The concept never crossed my mind, but even funerals are going green these days. So you're a natural kinda person? You'll want to read on. Natural Cemetaries are popping up all over the country. One of the largest, is 2,100 acre monastery in Conyers Georgia, called Honey Creek Woodland Preserve. There are no sealed caskets, concrete vaults, and toxic embalming chemicals. Instead, you have biodegradable coffins, shrouds, even family quilts can cushion your loved one. Family is encouraged to dig the hole, cover your loved one back up with the same dirt you dug out, and plant flowers on the gravesite when done. Actually, you MUST plant vegetation when done and you are encouraged to use native plants to Georgia -- that's the idea of a "natural" grave. Stones from the surrounding landscape are used as tombstones and GPS coordinates are used to find the grave in future visits. My husband found this very, very hard to believe. His comment was, "how 'bout cremation -- isn't that cheap and "green?" Interesting, very interesting.


Law Office of Robert P. Gasparro said...

Well, it's an idea whose time has come. Before the civil war and embalming, folks were buried in pine boxes or simply in the ground. Then came embalming chemicals and the "funeral industry." Cemeteries have become nothing more than landfills. The driving force is profit. Contrary to what you may think, the body will still decompose after embalming fluid is used, except now the embalming fluid will enter the water table. A plain body decomposing usually causes no risk. After all, bears and deer and birds and squirrels all decompose in forests with no risk to the water table. And the Jewish custom of burial, centuries old, is both ecologically sound and dignified. For more information, see is also a Green Burial Council. A Green Burial site is opening around West Chester PA. I am an Elder Law Attorney and a board member of a local Funeral Consumer's Alliance. Although most of my clients still prefer a conventional funeral or cremation, younger clients are leaning the "green burial." Time will tell if they live out their passion (no pun intended).

The Undertaker said...

A green burial is more green than cremation. It's the most natural way to go, our bodies go back to the ecological cycle. It's beautiful. Thank you for spreading the word, we need to educate!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Awesome, I especially like the idea of planting vegetation on the grave, having something given back to renew the soil that the body has taken.

You know, when I started reading your post, I too thought of cremation. In my cultural background (India) cremation is the norm and what I intend to take. Is it more "green"? Don't know, but I had the same thoughts as your husband (well, not about the hard-to-believe part). Do you know of any info on the "green" effects of cremation?