Green Burials

David Trammel's picture

LOL, please bury me under one of my raised beds, perferably with a certain medical herb growing there.

Green burials limit a corpse's earthly impact by minimizing or eliminating the energy, materials and toxic chemicals used in conventional practices, funeral professionals say. Unembalmed bodies are wrapped in a shroud or placed in caskets made of wicker, cardboard or another biodegradable material. They are laid in soil, not concrete vaults. Trees, native plants or natural stones mark graves.

No objective data tracks green burials, funeral professionals say. But nearly two-thirds of adults 40 or older expressed interest in green funeral options, up from just 43 percent five years earlier, according to a 2015 Funeral and Memorial Information Council survey of 1,200 people.

Yet interest rarely translates into commitment, said Dan Gochenouer, caretaker for Glen Forest Cemetery in Yellow Springs. In the past three years, Gochenouer has overseen 250 traditional burials and just nine natural ones.

"We're pretty liberal, natural, organic. I get a lot of interest, a lot of calls asking about it," he said. "It's a very popular idea. But traditional is still the tradition."

The fact that they have jacked up the prices of such services into the thousands of dollars more than conventional chemical may have a good deal to do with the public's lack of interest. Instead of pricing the service having less overhead at a lower cost, they are trying to cash in on a hippie trend and failing to realize that rich hippies can use their own land, whereas poor hippies can't pay such inflated prices.

David Trammel's picture

Two related articles. First Paris gets its first "Green" cemetery

And here's a thought, how about composting my dead body and spreading me around?

Blueberry's picture

In many parts of the South you will see very large cider trees in graveyards, the trees need calcium to grow. Not so much in new graveyards opened after 1950. When walking in the woods and I see a large mound of dirt if there are Cider trees growing place is probably a Indian mound.

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

Thanks for that tidbit Blueberry. Indian Mounds are a subject I am very interested in -with the Ohio Valley being littered with what remains of them. It's interesting to learn how things might have been done in the South.

Here you can find Mounds preserved in a lot of cemeteries. The Euro-settlers often buried their dead around the existing mounds. Is the same true where you are at?

Blueberry's picture

I have never seen a mound in the middle of a cemetery.

Saw this posted in the comments on JMG's blog: