Natural, environmentally friendly burials may help to show people that you care not only for a deceased loved one, but also a world around them that remains to be enjoyed by everyone.
What is a Natural Burial?
A natural burial embraces all faiths, or no faith at all, allowing people perfect freedom to acknowledge and celebrate loved ones exactly as they wish. Bodies are committed to the land with minimal disturbance to the natural environment and with no lasting impact. Graves remain unmarked, (although plotted with highly accurate geographic information system – GIS), allowing the natural habitat to become a living memorial.
It is sometimes said that our lives might be compared to footprints in the sand individually unique as they follow their own human journeys. All organisms that have lived, have died and returned to the soil…only to be recycled into new life.
That is the positive and charitable interpretation of the footprints we leave. But in today’s world, the word footprint also encapsulates less favourable connotations – a measure of the less welcome, permanent and enduring impacts of our respective footprints on the earth.
The green burial might be seen as one which leaves no adverse – or the least adverse – footprint.
With this principle in mind there are many ways in which the practice of burial may be made greener, through the use of biodegradable materials ensuring that they are effectively returned to the environment for use again in the future rather than taking decade or centuries before they decompose and are reabsorbed into the land.
This principle of sustainability might help in the choice of materials used in green burials:
- shrouds that are woven and made from such organic materials as linen, cotton or silk;
- natural sources of sustainable (replaceable or already growing) timber to be used in the making of urns and caskets;
- it is possible to go a step further in the greening of the caskets used by replacing environmentally valuable wood with cardboard or wicker varieties
- there are even caskets on the market that are made entirely from recycled and eminently biodegradable newspaper –they are called Eco pods and come in a number of different designs and colours.
In order to conserve the sustainable use of precious land in an increasingly overcrowded world, environmentally friendly funerals may make use of green cemeteries in such relatively conventional locations as woodland burial sites, fields, and gardens.
Local natural burial grounds
Usk Castle Chase Natural Burial Meadow
Usk Castle Chase’s tranquillity is typical of the surrounding Monmouthshire countryside. With lush landscapes, it offers a peaceful place to sit and be surrounded by natures beauty.
Cardiff & The Vale Natural Burial Meadow
The meadow’s beauty is typical of the surrounding landscape of the Vale of Glamorgan and has far reaching views. Unhurried, tranquil and private, it offers something gentler. A place of escape, away from it all.