2013-07-31 “Green Burials”

Occasionally people ask me about “natural burials”.  A visit to the Natural Burial Association at http://www.naturalburialassoc.ca  gives this information:

–  A natural burial is the return of a body to the earth as simply as possible. Bodies are not embalmed, but wrapped in a biodegradable shroud or placed in a simple casket and buried in protected green space.

–  It’s a way of combining an eco-friendly interment with land conservation.

–  Low impact natural burials reduce energy and resource consumption, are less toxic, conserve water, and use only local sustainable materials.

–  Our bodies, returned to the soil, through decomposition, will help create new life. The nutrients help to feed the commemorative native trees or shrubs, which in turn create a new forest or parkland. Nature lovers can rest in nature and know that in their death, they have helped to create an ecological oasis.

Natural burials are slow to catch on in Canada.  At this point there are only three cemeteries in Ontario that I know of offering the service: Union Cemetery in Cobourg, Meadovale Cemetery in Brampton and Duffin Meadows Cemetery in Pickering.  At one point there was some discussion about a part of Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham being reserved for natural burials but I believe that there wasn’t enough interest generated for it to become a reality.  But with people becoming more and more environmentally conscious, it may become more of a concern and something to revisit.  I would be interested in knowing your thoughts.  Visit us on Facebook to see what others think.