Green Burial FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions.

What are the benefits of a green cemetery over a traditional cemetery?

Clearly, we see problems at older "traditional" cemeteries. Many have few or no trees, in others, the grounds have been destroyed through the use of herbicides. Drainage problems can occur and herbicide use leads to water pollution.

Cemeteries can play an important social and environmental role. 2.2 million acres were lost to development according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation report issued for 1997 through 2001. Every day, development is taking over the natural environments created over eons. A natural burial takes place in a natural environment where native flora and wildlife flourish. A green cemetery provides a habitat for endemic birds and animals, returning lands to their native grasses, flowers, and shrubs.  

A green burial reduces environmental impact and conservation easements preserve our open spaces, important not only to plants and wildlife…we find serenity when close to nature. Interment in a beautiful and natural setting honors those we love.

Is a conservation easement important when considering a green burial?

It is important to conserve our natural landscapes before they disappear completely by encroaching on development. Conservation easements can ensure that no further development will be allowed on the land, as all future owners of the land would be bound by the easement. The land can be forever protected.

Is cremation an environmentally sound option?

There are air pollution issues caused by cremation, even the fillings in our teeth contribute to the mercury in the atmosphere. Older burners have been replaced by double burners which burn off many pollutants, however, cremation releases dioxin, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide, and carbon dioxide. Many don't realize, but cremation requires a container. Choosing simple unlined coffins without chipboard and plastics can help reduce pollution.  

Interesting ideas have recently been developed to deal with cremated remains. - Eternal Reefs Inc. is the only company to offer underwater burial at sea in artificial reefs. By mixing cremated remains with concrete, these artificial reefs provide a lasting environmentally friendly memorial for families and individuals that choose cremation.

The number one reason people have chosen cremation? It is less expensive than a traditional burial (which with a service can be more than $7000). Many more companies are offering bio-degradable urns than just a decade ago, please see links for cremation urns.

Natural burial in a green cemetery is an affordable cremation alternative. Families do not have to incur the cost of caskets, embalming, or burial vaults and green burials do not contribute pollutants to the atmosphere.