Green Burials

Green Burial: Is This an Option You Might Consider?

Green Burial - Moving ForwardI heard the term “green burial” for the first time last week. Three days later I saw the term on Facebook. Then the next day one of my employees told me that she had just seen a presentation about green burials at her church.

I had to find out what this was all about.

It turns out that a green burial is a more ecologically sensitive way to inter a body than the tradition that has become more common over the last seventy years. In fact, it’s a return to simpler time, more similar to the way our ancestors returned a body to the earth. It involves an un-embalmed body, a biodegradable container, and a vaultless grave.

Reduced Costs and Impact on the Environment

Some people choose this method as a way to reduce funeral costs. Others want to reduce their impact on the environment. For both, choosing a green burial provides a sense of returning to the earth in a very personal way.

According to the Green Burial Council (, there are 3 cemeteries authorized to accept green burials in the state of Washington:

  • Goldendale
  • Snohomish
  • Ferndale

Burials in the beauty of nature…

The burials usually take place in woodland settings in “natural cemeteries” or in special “green” areas of the traditional cemeteries. Often the typical headstone is replaced with a native fieldstone set flush to the ground. Often markers are favorite native shrubs or trees.

Civil War Burials - Moving ForwardI was interested to discover that our current “traditional” burial practices didn’t become the norm until the Civil War, when bodies were embalmed for preservation while being transported home.

We Washingtonians tend to care a great deal about our ecology, being surrounded as we are by such lush greenery. I imagine that green burials will grow rapidly in popularity here, as more people discover the option.

It’s a pleasant surprise to see how the concept of green burial can bring together an older tradition, being ecologically sensitive, and saving money so nicely.

For more information, I invite you to visit

The web site that Facebook directed me to is People’s Memorial. Their tag line is “Simpler funerals … a natural choice.”

What an interesting and reasonable concept.


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