A Natural Cemetery
The Vision: A Green Burial in a Natural Cemetery
Wrapping an un-embalmed human body in a shroud, placing that body in a grave, covering it with earth, and letting nature take over— imagine the beautiful simplicity of a natural burial.
How would this look?
A green, or natural, cemetery prohibits chemical embalming of the body. There are no grave-liners or vaults, and only biodegradable burial containers such as a plain pine box, a wicker or cardboard casket, or a fabric shroud can be used.
While there is diligent care-taking of the property, there is no turf cover to mow and manicure, no intensive watering requirements. There are no attempts to control nature with pesticides and herbicides. Instead, a natural cemetery allows nature to take its course.
Rather than marble headstone monuments, grave sites are designated by GPS coordinates that provide information as to the precise location of a grave for cemetery records and for visitors. Engraved flat native stone memorial markers can be used.
When someone chooses to plant a memorial tree, shrub, or flowering plant, they must choose an indigenous species. A natural burial ground is committed to the restoration of native vegetation, thus encouraging birds and other natural wildlife to inhabit the area. Those who are laid to rest there become a part of the natural beauty and the ongoing cycle of life.
It is possible to issue a final statement of one’s concern for the environment by planning a simple, natural burial. What is done with one’s body after one is done with it can be your final act of environmental responsibility, the last thing you get a chance to ‘recycle’.
Whether you are driven by environmental concerns or a deep spiritual conviction to embrace the biblical mandate “For dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return” natural burial is clearly your best option to peacefully and harmoniously be reunited with the earth.