Woodland burial is taking off in crowded Britain but remains a minority pastime in the spacious US. Over half of Americans get buried rather than cremated but nearly all of them end up in a steel or hardwood coffin in a traditional cemetery.
Most compound the environmental damage by being embalmed first, a fantastically wasteful and and unnecessary practice, which involves squirting the body full of three gallons of toxic formaldehyde and mercuric chloride, and delays decomposition by a week or so. It gained popularity when Abraham Lincoln and Rudolf Valentino were embalmed, prior to their funeral trains crossing the country, to allow everyone to see the open coffin. It is completely unnecessary for a normal viewing.
When your funeral director asks if you want granny embalmed, I and the earth, beg you, politely decline.
But things are changing.
A small number of funeral directors are now offering green burials along
lines that have long been popular in the UK.
So far there seem to be only four sites in the whole US but
I’m sure I’ve missed some. I
will add new ones as people tell me about them.
Here is the list.
Fernwood Cemetery, 301 Tennessee Valley Road in Mill Valley. Click here. Tel 415.383.7100
Forest Lawn's Hollywood Hills branch has a cremation garden called "Woodlands" I have no more details.
I'm not sure if the Historic Congressional Cemetery offers green burial. I can't find any details except that their address appears on some green burial links pages. Linda Harper, Association for the Preservation for Historic Congressional Cemetery, 1801 E Street, Southeast Washington, D.C. 20003 Tel:(202) 543-0539 Fax: (202) 543-5966 E-mail: CongressionalCemetery@mail.org
America’s second “green cemetery”, Glendale Nature Preserve. Click here
Burial at sea click here
A fellow called Kevin Kruegerat had a plan to establish a green burial site at Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard a couple of years ago. He called it the Circle of Life eco-burial site. I'm not sure if anything has come of it. Email him here
New York State
There is a plan to build New York state's first green cemetery on a 100 acre site that straddles Irish Hill Road next to Cornell University's Arnot Forest. The cemetery will be run by The Green Springs Natural Cemetery Association. president The association is currently trying to raise $25,000 toward the project and are asking people to buy burial plots. The smallest cost $500. Contact Mary Woodsen  (607) 272 4034, Susan Thomas  (607) 936 6613, or Joel Rabinowitz (607) 898 5113 for further details.
America’s first “green cemetery” was established in 1996 at Ramsay Creek. Click here. It is run by Memorial Eco-systems click here. 111 West Main Street, Westminster, SC 29693. Tel (864) 647-7798. Fax: (864) 647-0403 email The cemetery is located at 396 Cobb Bridge Road, Westminster.
Ethician Family Cemetery. Click here
Jerri Lyons calls herself a death midwife, and helps people arrange home burials through her firm Final Passages. Click here. P.O. Box 1721, Sebastopol, CA 95473; Tel (707) 824-0268;
General US site
Click here for greenburials.org
Email here if you would like your green burial organisation listed on this page.
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