We've been early reporters of the trend for greener end-of-life ceremonies and traditions, including green burials and How to Green Your Funeral.
What's unique about the Honey Creek Woodland Cemetery near Conyers, Georgia is its lush and meadowed natural setting - and it's not "meadow-like" but an actual restored meadow with Eastern wild flowers and native species. Remains are put into the ground here unembalmed (no formaldehyde) and either wrapped in a shroud or in a biodegradable casket. Honey Creek is a joint venture between the local Cisterian Monastery and a South Carolina company called Memorial Ecosystems. The cemetery helps convert formerly clear-cut pine woods into what is being called a "conservation burial ground."Green Burial Council guidelines
Honey Creek is following the stipulations of the Green Burial Council in having the first level of certified green cemetery, in which the company holds a conservation easement on the property and it is considered a permanently protected open space. Burials are supposed to not cause harm to plant and animal life in the area, and the grave site decorative elements must minimize impact to the surround areas.
At Honey Creek, families are also allowed to take part not just in the funeral or service, but also in preparing a grave (which can take hours of digging) and closing of the grave. Honey Creek, as more and more natural burial sites are doing, uses a GPS and reference markers on the trails to keep track of where individual remains are located, especially as grave markers are not easily spotted after natural vegetation takes over (using no markers at all is also an option).
According to the Georgia Bulletin, at least 10 cemeteries nationwide are now dedicated to green burials, with more and more traditional cemeteries also offering green burials as an option. Via: Georgia Bulletin
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