Friday, May 22, 2009

An Eco Friendly Funeral?

I’m a cemetery buff. I admit it. You may think it’s weird, but it’s true. I love cemeteries and have ever since I was little. My grandma’s farm was right next to an abandoned one-room white church and small cemetery. My mom and I used to walk up to the cemetery and wander around looking at the graves. My dad used to mow the cemetery when he was younger. (Although this is where my dad’s ties with cemeteries end. My mom and I are working on him though!) Enter husband who also loves cemeteries, and you have the perfect family. For Mother’s Day, we went to a cemetery near my parents’ house that we had never been to before and saw some beautiful architecture, flowers, shrubs and graves (see below).

I ran across this website the other day, advertising an eco-friendly burial. It’s located just miles from where I grew up. I never knew such a thing existed. “What is it?” you ask. It’s a burial that doesn’t use a vault or embalming fluid, nor a tombstone. Everything is biodegradable. Basically it sounds like they just dig you a hole in the middle of a field or a forest, lower you in, and then cover you up with dirt.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love eco-friendly things. But as a traditional cemetery person, I just can’t jump on this bandwagon. I don’t like the idea of cremation either. I want to be laid in the ground and have a nice tombstone so my descendants can find me a couple hundred years from now. The genealogist in me just can’t imagine being buried without a marker.

What do you think? Yay or nay for eco-friendly funerals?


  1. I like wandering through really old cemetaries. I'm not so keen on modern ones- the tragedies of lost children, spouses, etc. are still too fresh.
    If I were to go, I think whatever is least expense and fuss for my family. I think the eco-thing will appeal to a lot of people, becoming part of a huge forest.
    On the other hand, what if foul play was later suspected and they needed to take another look at you? I may have watched too much CSI!!

  2. Hubby swears I'm the only cemetery fanatic in the world ~ so nice to know that I'm not. Nice to meet another one. I love reading the old headstones and developing the connections between the dates and eras, imaging who the people were and the life they led.

    I know a lot of states require embalming, vaults, etc..., but all in all I'm with you. I love the tradition of the headstone and the lineage of generations to follow.

  3. I also like cemeteries but in the Northwest don't have as many older graves. Do you know there are websites that volunteers photo every headstone in the cemetery and post the photos and inscriptions for genealogy research?
    This is what I want to do someday.