Eco-Business: How To Establish Your Own Green Cemetery
|By Michael d'Estries in Green Living | April 18, 2007|
I’ve profiled the subject of green burials here on Groovy several times. Since beginning my education into how I want to leave this wild world, the practice of “ethical burial” has received a great deal of press; and also witnessed an increase in established locales around the U.S.
The idea, however, is still mired in a great deal of myth; or overlooked completely. I was in Massachusetts visiting family when the front page of their newspaper contained a feature on “How To Prepare For The End.” It was accompanied a rather slimy looking funeral director in a picture standing in front of several ornate coffins. I scanned the article in hopes of a complete overview of people’s options, but only cremation received a small amount of attention. The rest of the two page feature was dedicated to laying out the costs of a plot, a casket, a funeral home, and all of the other wasteful, modern accessories we lavish on the dead. Average funerals in the U.S. can cost $8-$12K. Imagine what the living could do with that cash?
Obviously, you’ve heard this frustration from me before, but I wanted to add an additional resource to the many already written. An individual named George Russell of the Universal Ethician Church has laid out the steps he took to form his own green cemetery in Texas. Granted, this information is light on the details (and specific to one state), but it gives you an overall idea of what it would take to open your own “memorial foundation” if you so desired.
The benefits? Well, not only would you be a green entrepreneur, but you would also be giving back to the planet. Every time a section of land is declared legal for burial, it also automatically receives nature preserve status. In other words, no development would ever threaten that location for as long as laws stay relevant. If you have a location that you just can’t bare to see ravished by modern society’s “progress”, then this is one way to ensure it stays wild well after you’re gone. (No doubt, you’ll reside there in the Earth anyways).
So, have a look at George’s tips. You may find inspiration to move forward with your own green cemetery. The rest of us will most certainly thank you.
Book Review: Grave Matters — an amazing book that details all the different “green ways” you can leave this world.
Video: GreenSprings Natural Cemetery — a video/article of Ithaca, NY’s first green cemetery. A great primer on what a green cemetery is all about.