Green Burial

What is a ‘Green Burial’?

A green burial is an environmentally sensitive practice where the body is returned to the earth to decompose naturally and contribute to new life.  It is an alternative to conventional burial or cremation and is a statement of personal values for people who are mindful of the cyclical nature of life.

What are the Principles Behind a Green Burial?

1.  No Embalming.. Nature knows how to recycle a body. Your loved one can be prepared for viewing and burial without the unnatural practice of embalming.  Keeping the body cool and using environmentally sensitive soaps and lotions, you can prepare the body for a natural burial.

2.  Direct Burial into the Earth.You can chose to wrap the body in a shroud made of natural, biodegradable fibers or place it in a casket or container made of sustainable biodegradable materials. The shrouded or casketed body is put directly into the ground.

3.  Conservation and Restoration.  After allowing time for the grave to settle, the surface of the grave may be planted with locally indigenous plant materials such as ground-cover, shrubs and trees. These plantings will be done according to a plan designed to optimize the creation, enhancement and integration of the area to the local ecosystem.

4.  Communal Memorialization. Individual memorials are discouraged. Instead, communal memorialization is practiced using naturally sourced materials with simple, basic inscriptions. The green burial site becomes a living memorial to the persons interred there.

5.  Optimize Land Use. A well planned green burial cemetery optimizes the land it occupies. Minimal infrastructure, practical grave dimensions and well thought out lot plans can maximize the interment capacity.

Green burial is a statement of personal values for those who seek to minimize their impact on the environment. For people who are mindful of the cyclical nature of life, green burial is a spiritually fulfilling alternative to conventional burial or cremation. - Green Burial Canada