It is 2018, which means change is all around us. However, we came into the world naturally, with as little intrusion as possible, so why not choose to be buried the same way? A natural burial is the way to simplicity.
You need to factor in many things when deciding which way to go. Cremation is harmful to the environment, emitting lots of bad gases, which is why the government makes crematoriums fit strong abatement filters. This is to help save the planet from more unnecessary greenhouse gases. So, as an alternative, you could simply opt for a natural burial option. We are here to explain what natural burials are, in a simple way, so you have all the information needed to help you choose the best decision for you.
What are Natural Burials?
Natural burials are a more natural process of burying. People are buried up to 4 ft deep, just as they used to be 1000’s of years ago. Before, the Victorians felt 6 to 8 feet would stop the grave robbers, this however is no longer necessary in 2018. The process involves a more eco-friendly way of hand-digging, meaning a less obstructive way of saying goodbye to your loved one.
Natural burials are the simplest way of interment, the aim is to allow the body to decompose naturally and aerobically (using natural oxygen). This allows neutrinos rise to the surface and helps the immediate area surrounding the resting place to grow. Nature is a beauty all around us, so why not help it flourish by adding to the environment and creating a place to be – a place to go.
Are Natural Burials Eco-friendly?
To go green; your natural choice is Green Burial. This method of burial is better for the environment, especially in comparison to other methods. Natural burials involve a much smaller carbon footprint and create less fumes. This is because it doesn’t involve mechanical diggers as a traditional burial would. Also, natural burials don’t intrude with nature as we avoid plastic/brass handles and nameplates on solid wooden coffins. Instead, we choose natural willow or bamboo biodegradable coffins and shrouds, which allow the earth to simply embrace the burying process through natural decomposition.
What should I consider initially when choosing a burial option?
Within every decision in life, it is best to gain knowledge of the process. To understand what is best for you, the first thing that we would say, is don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your funeral and the service needs to be perfect, especially tailored for you, so we are here to answer any queries that you may have on any aspect of Natural Green Burial.
We would also suggest that before making any decisions, you visit our Green Burial Park. This is the best way to see if you would feel comfortable being laid to rest in this way. You can even choose the exact resting place, which many feel so empowered by, as they finally find control in where they will inevitably be one day. Most people find that natural burials allow a peaceful place to visit and admire nature’s beauty. This allows them to reminisce on the beauty of the life that was lost and allows both yourself and them to feel at ease with nature.
Casket options worth considering when going green
One option is our reusable Willow Family Coffins. These are transfer coffins for use with shrouds. They can be re-used by the same family several times (if they wish) or indeed buried, as we have carried out many times. The public now have more choice with Respect Willow Family Coffins.
If you are looking for a completely natural burial, one option to consider is an Eco-Friendly Shroud. Respect make and distribute over 1,000 Respect Everybody Coffin-Less-Shrouds each year since its concept in 2010, so it is becoming a very popular option. However, you may feel you and those attending the funeral may not be quite ready for such a stripped back approach, which is why we have developed other alternatives. We also have the Respect Family Coffin and hundred’s of other options to choose from, however only biodegradable ones can be used in a green burial. Embalming isn’t allowed in Green burial parks, so this is another factor that you need to consider. For some, Green Burial is a natural, respectful preference because it allows you/your loved one to go back to nature as quickly as possible.
You can choose eco-coffins made from all manner of materials when going green. These are typically made from:
- Banana leaf
- Sea grass
If you have any questions about the options open to you, then ask your local funeral director. Most good funeral directors do carry information on Green Burials and will inform you about your options. If your funeral director tries to put you off Green Burial, make sure that you are informed on all of your options clearly before making a decision. Many funeral directors do prefer to keep their feet clean and push cremation. This is because they are run to a time-like production line, whereas Green Burials are time-rich, unhurried and can be far more meaningful to those left behind. Explore all options before making a decision because it is important you are comfortable in the way the body is laid to rest.
The cost of a Green Burial
A Green Burial is less expensive than other means of burials. This is because the upkeep and maintenance of the burial ground is minimal. Graves are dug by hand in true Green Burial Parks, like Respect.
Graveside services at Respect include pagodas and seating. You can even have live music or the person’s favourite recorded music played through a professional sound system. Direct burial options can be explored, followed by a memorial service or simple, family-led funeral. Alternative options can be arranged such as traditional church services or outdoor church services at the graveside, followed by a simple committal service.
Other expenses are spared such as embalming costs, meaning you save on harmful chemicals. Additionally, expenses are saved on headstones as in a natural burial, headstones are substituted with flat tablets, bird boxes or bat boxes.
You need to explore the options in the Burial Park you choose. Some don’t allow headstones. You can have alternative options that also benefit the environment. One example is planting a tree in memory of your loved one.
How do I choose a Natural Burial?
In the first instance you can call Respect. Naturally, they will offer their parks in Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire or Lincolnshire. However, they also offer Direct Burials nationally, through a network of registered and approved true Green Burial Grounds. You can prepay for a natural burial for yourself or a family member / friend. If you want to plan your own funeral arrangements and think this is the one for you, a plan can be arranged where your money is safely placed into a protected trust so it is always there, ready for when the day comes. You can also arrange to visit and choose the exact resting place within the preferred burial ground yourself. This is to ensure it’s where you’d like to be laid to rest.
What types of Natural Burial grounds are there?
There is an array of destinations to choose from, ranging from fields, woodland areas and nature filled plots. You can explore the options on our website here.
Beware! Not all Green Burial Parks have the same rules as Respect, who give their plots for Eternity. (This ensures graves are never re-used)
We hope that this has helped you to become more informed of your funeral options and that you feel comfortable asking any questions regarding Natural Burial.