What is Green Burial?
Green burial is a meaningful, simplistic and sustainable way of interment.

Burial may take place on either private land or in a cemetery that accommodates green burial practices. The body is not preserved with chemicals and may be encased in a biodegradable coffin (often made untreated soft wood) or cloth shroud, and then placed into a grave without an outer vault or container that would prevent soil contact.

What is Conservation Burial?

We at Natural Passages have taken green burial to the next level by selecting and maintaining lands to be restored and preserved as natural habitats. Through restorative, conservation-minded land management techniques aimed at maintaining a natural landscape preserved in perpetuity, you and your loved ones will have contributed to protecting these natural areas and provided for a meaningful place of remembrance.

New Life from an Old Concept

Green burials aren’t new—they were in fact once the norm in the United States, especially prior to the Civil War. Back then, death was an expected chapter in everyone’s life story—followed by a respectable period of mourning. The lost loved one was often laid out in the parlor for viewing and even photographed by those seeking to memorialize them forever, then buried without embalming to facilitate a natural return of “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

This ritual changed during the Civil War, when so many soldiers lost their lives far away from their homes. Underdeveloped transportation infrastructure required their bodies to be preserved long enough for a proper funeral, and the practice of embalming became commonly used to allow families to see their lost soldiers one last time.

Why Consider Conservation Burial?

  • Protects and restores permanent habitat for native plants and animals

  • Uses low impact and sustainably harvested materials for burial and rarely requires the need for watering, moving, or fertilizing

  • Uses products and practices that use less energy and emit less carbon into the atmosphere

  • Eliminates the need to embalm bodies with chemicals like formaldehyde

  • Prevents toxic chemicals from embalming or casket degradation from contaminating the Earth

  • Often costs less than a conventional burial since fewer resources such as embalming fluids, concrete or energy are required

  • Offers real social and ecological benefits such as better protection of funeral workers’ health, reduction of carbon emissions, and reduction of groundwater and soil contamination

Learn More About Green Burial Today

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