Different Types of Green Cemeteries

The first green burial provider was officially certified by the Green Burial Council in 2006. There are over 350 green burial providers and that number is growing. More and more families express their interest in this method of laying the deceased to rest. A study conducted in 2015 by the Funeral and Memorial Information Council shows that 64 percent of adults 40 years and above show immense interest in the green burial option compared to 43 percent who showed interest in 2010.

As most families continue to inquire about green burial options, it is important to understand what exactly they entail. Let’s look at different ways a cemetery is considered ‘green’. The Green Burial Council puts green cemeteries in 3 major categories: hybrid burial grounds, natural burial grounds and conservation burial grounds.

Hybrid Burial Ground

Regular cemeteries must offer options for a burial to take place without a vault, concrete box, slab, a vault lid, or partitioned liner as per the Green Burial Council criteria for certification. When it comes to the hybrid/regular burial grounds, they do not have any embalming requirements. Green burial grounds must allow the use of burial shrouds or other green caskets for green funerals.

Natural Burial Grounds

Natural burial grounds have more requirements than regular/hybrid green burial grounds. However, natural burial grounds do not allow any other containers because all materials for a green funeral must be made from natural materials that can decompose over time.

Sometimes a green funeral does not require embalmment, but if it must take place, it has to be done with an eco-friendly chemical. For a natural burial ground, a management system free of pesticides must be used. The Green Burial Council states that a green cemetery has to be run and maintained to look natural with the use of plants native to the area. The flora must be compatible with the region and its ecosystem.

Conservation Burial Grounds

The conservation of this type burial ground is taken quite seriously. It is the stricter burial option amid the three green burial options available.  However, to meet the obligations of a conservation burial ground, it must have an established organization that has a conservation document or a deed restriction that guarantees long term administration. It must also be owned and managed in tandem with a recognized government agency.

Conservation burial grounds meet the criteria for all green graveyards. Most importantly, they practice land conservation in a spectacular way that is better for wildlife. Due to the influence of the government, security is guaranteed.

While you’ll find several burial options out there for you or your loved ones, it’s important to take time to review these options. If you’re highly concerned about the environment and don’t want to burden it, a green cemetery may be the ideal choice for your burial. Keep in mind that you have three options. You can expect green caskets at a green cemetery, as they are biodegradable and don’t pollute the earth by adding toxins as they decompose. In addition, they are manufactured to be carbon-neutral.

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