Catholic Cemetery Launches Green Burial Offerings

green burial angel photo

Image credit: David Sim, used under Creative Commons license.

When I penned a guide a few short years ago on how to green your funeral, it seemed like most of the options available for a more sustainable burial leaned, shall we say, toward the new agey side of things. But things are changing. Brian noted back in October that green burials were seeing a massive rise in popularity, and I've just come across a story of one mainstream catholic cemetery that is offering a whole host of greener burial options. But just what might such a service entail? reports that Maryrest Cemetery in Mahwah, New Jersey, has begun offering a range of green burial options—from an "organic" embalming method and a biodegradable casket, through to no casket at all, no embalming, and a grave marked with simple boulders or rocks. And, encouragingly for those of us who want to see greener burial go mainstream, it seems that ecological concerns aren't the only motivating factor for choosing a simpler path:

"And less really is less, in this case -- about $1,400 for a standard 3-foot by 10-foot green grave as opposed to $1,750 for a traditional plot, according to Shafer. Maryrest's dedication of about an acre of land for green burials is part of a $25 million, three-year expansion of the cemetery, which is nearing its final phase. Mager said the site comprises untouched land and was designed to enhance what was already there."

It might not be quite as green as composting your corpse, but it is good to see more mainstream providers offering eco-options. I just hope that by the time comes, there will be enough atheist options for us heathens too.

More on Green Burial
Composting Your Corpse (Again): Lee Hays' Living Will
Can Green Funerals Be Fun?
How to Go Green: Funerals
Green Burials See Massive Rise in Popularity Nationwide

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