Interest in green burial keeps growing, and funeral homes are starting to take notice.
“This is How I Want to Be Dead,” an opinion column by Richard Conniff in the New York Times, is generating hundreds of comments about green burial and other alternatives to the “traditional” funeral. Among the topics he covers: alkaline hydrolysis, cremation, conventional cemeteries and conservation burial grounds. From his column:
It might be tempting to mock all this as one last baby boomer fantasy, carrying the boutique lifestyle to the grave, or maybe, recalling their better, younger selves, staging a sort of perpetual environmental lie-in protest to protect the land from development. It’s also easy to disparage the one-with-the-earth sentimentality in which the natural burial ground movement tends to cloak itself: “Our bodies do not belong to us, they belong to nature,” one such cemetery admonishes. “We believe they should be gifted back to the earth to further the cycles of life.”
As with almost everything in the death care trade, skepticism makes sense. The Green Burial Council advises that a natural burial ground should have both an endowment and legal restrictions to prevent it from ever being turned into a conventional cemetery.
Going Green: The Rise of the New Funeral
They offered a free ebook titled “Going Green: The Rise of the New Funeral.” It’s designed to help funeral directors better understand the reasons behind the trend, alternative options, and how to become the go-to funeral home in their market.
It also provides interesting information that can help the general public better understand green trends as well. Visit this webpage to get the ebook.
The Natural Burial Cemetery Guide
Speaking of ebooks, check out The Natural Burial Cemetery Guide by Ann Hoffner. The guide covers all the current natural burial grounds in the United States, divided by regions. Green burial grounds are classified in this book as hybrid, natural or conservation, which offer different shades of “greenness.”
The guide provides helpful details for each burial ground, including: address, phone, website, ownership, type of burial, natural setting, plot purchase, interment cost, burial containers, markers, care and maintenance, decoration and memorialization, grave digging, and the story behind the cemetery. Beautiful color photos throughout the book help illustrate.
Check out the book at www.GreenBurialNaturally.org.
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