As society becomes increasingly aware of the environmental impact of our daily choices, a growing number of individuals are considering greener end-of-life alternatives. Green burials offer an environmentally conscious approach to traditional burial methods, focusing on reducing the ecological footprint associated with final disposition.

Green burials use sustainable materials and practices to minimize the environmental impact of interment. By avoiding the use of non-biodegradable materials and embalming chemicals, a green burial allows the deceased to return to the earth naturally, promoting the conservation of resources and habitats.

Additionally, green burial sites often incorporate landscape management practices that encourage the preservation and restoration of local ecosystems, marking a significant departure from traditional burial methods.

In this article, we will delve into the fundamentals of green burial options, their environmental benefits, and how cemeteries can provide eco-friendly solutions to those seeking a more earth-conscious approach to commemorating their loved ones.

Understanding Green Burials

As interest in environmentally sustainable practices grows, the concept of green burials has gained traction among those seeking eco-friendly end-of-life options. A green burial aims to minimize the environmental impact of traditional interment methods, utilizing sustainably sourced materials and environmentally responsible practices.

Key features of a green burial include the absence of embalming chemicals, biodegradable caskets or burial shrouds, and environmentally focused cemetery spaces.

Choosing the Right Green Burial Option

There are numerous choices to make when planning a green burial, with options ranging from simple and cost-effective to elaborate and personalized. As you consider the best path for you or a loved one, consider the following possibilities:

  1. Biodegradable caskets: Crafted from sustainably sourced materials such as bamboo, wicker, or certified wood, biodegradable caskets break down naturally over time, allowing the deceased to return to the earth.
  2. Natural shrouds: A less formal option, burial shrouds are made from untreated, eco-friendly fabrics such as cotton, linen, or silk, encapsulating the body and ensuring a natural decomposition process.
  3. Natural burial preserves: These dedicated cemetery spaces prioritize ecological conservation and restoration, often showcasing native plants, meadows, and woodland settings that promote diverse ecosystems.
  4. Green cremation: Although cremation has a lower carbon footprint than traditional burial, its environmental impact can be further reduced by selecting methods that utilize less energy and produce fewer emissions, such as water-based (alkaline) cremations.

Eco-Friendly Cemetery Management Practices

Modern cemeteries, aware of the growing preference for green burials, can implement eco-friendly management practices to enhance their environmental stewardship. By incorporating the following strategies, cemeteries can provide a greener final resting place for many:

  1. Sustainable landscaping: Prioritize the use of native plant species and implement resource-conscious irrigation systems. Sustainable landscaping helps preserve the local ecosystem while reducing water and energy consumption.
  2. Chemical-free maintenance: Eliminate the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides in favor of organic methods for managing weeds and pests. Such practices reduce environmental harm and preserve the soil’s natural biodiversity.
  3. Wildlife conservation: Support local wildlife populations by creating and maintaining habitat features, such as nesting boxes, birdhouses, and ponds.
  4. Energy-efficient facilities: Upgrade cemetery facilities to incorporate energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy sources, such as solar power, to minimize the site’s ecological footprint.

The Environmental Benefits of Green Burials

Choosing a green burial provides several key environmental benefits that contribute to a healthier planet for future generations:

  1. Conservation of resources: By opting for biodegradable caskets and eliminating the use of concrete or metal vaults, green burials reduce resource consumption and waste production, thus promoting a more sustainable approach to burial practices.
  2. Reduction of carbon emissions: Traditional burial methods and materials contribute heavily to greenhouse gas emissions, while green burial options utilize minimal energy and create fewer emissions during the manufacturing and decomposition processes.
  3. Restoration of natural habitats: Green burial preserves focus on the conservation and revitalization of native ecosystems, ensuring the long-term health and biodiversity of local environments.
  4. Encouragement of industry change: The growing popularity of green burial options sends a strong message to the funeral industry, emphasizing the importance of eco-friendly practices and encouraging more providers to adopt greener initiatives.

Final Thoughts

Green burial options offer an environmentally conscious and meaningful alternative to traditional burial methods, ensuring the deceased’s final resting place is harmonious with nature. By considering factors such as biodegradable materials, ecologically focused cemetery spaces, and green burial practices, individuals can make informed decisions that reflect their environmental values and priorities.

Allow Bakerview Memorial Cemetery to provide the guidance, tools, and resources for eco-friendly end-of-life choices. With our knowledgeable staff, we can help you navigate the decision-making process on burial services and create a lasting tribute that respects both personal preferences and the environment we all share.


Published: February 18, 2024

Take the first step today

Plan ahead at Bakerview Memorial Cemetery