Wednesday, March 2, 2011

-- Featured Guest Article - Green Funerals --

Karen Jones is the published author of: Death for Beginners Your No-Nonsense, Money-Saving Guide to Planning for the Inevitable She has taught writing in the past and truly believes in leaving the world a better place. Her humorous, money-saving, pragmatic workbook approach to planning for their end-of-life, for people interested in frugal and environmentally sound choices, and those wishing to avoid the nearly $10,000 a traditional burial now costs. Karen can be found at:

Green Funerals

Why not make a final eco-friendly statement by having a green burial? Stay with me here and breath!. Green burial, rapidly becoming one of the most popular types of burial, is where your body is prepared without chemical preservatives, put in a biodegradable container, then placed in the earth to decompose naturally. Talk about getting rid of your carbon footprint!

There is no federal law and few state laws requiring embalming, so chemical use is not required. There are no state or federal laws requiring a specific type of coffin or, for that fact, any coffin at all. So you may be buried in a biodegradable casket made of newspapers or in your Grandmother’s quilt.

With those two requirements for a green burial out of the way, what is left is choosing the correct cemetery. Green or natural cemeteries strive to maintain natural habitats and use nothing that can damage the environment. Most traditional cemeteries require a concrete vault (average cost $4000) for grounds maintenance and use chemicals for lawn care.

There are basically three types of green or natural cemeteries.

- A conventional cemetery may agree to a hybrid green burial with a natural casket and no vault but they often use herbicides and pesticides for lawn care. 

- A “natural burial ground” protects the environment by using unobtrusive grave markers, zero irrigation, pesticides or herbicides, and often plants native trees, shrubs, and flowers to help protect wildlife. 

- A “conservation burial ground,” the greenest alternative, is dedicated to ecological restoration and conservation, has an established conservation organization as a long-term warden, conserves land through zero degradation of existing wild areas and provides habitat for native fauna.

When choosing your green burial site, make sure the site is a certified natural burial cemetery protected by both easement and legislation. Visit the Green Burial Council at for listings.

While the costs of green burial can be lower by using less funeral home services,
natural burial cemetery sites can be expensive due to conservation efforts. You can find sites nearest to you by visiting The Centre for Natural Burial at

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1 comment:

  1. Good post and an interesting blog. I own 40 acres in the middle of nowhere, and I'd really like to be buried on my land and feed a tree. Sadly I think that requires changing a bunch of laws.

    Lemur The CRITTER Project and Naked Without A Pen


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