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Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
Natural Burial slideshow
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Natural Burial slideshow

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Natural Burial Fundamentals: …

Natural Burial Fundamentals:
Standards and Levels - Green Burial Council
A Different Approach
Going Mainstream
acknowledgements

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  • 1. NATURAL BURIAL FUNDAMENTALS <ul><li>While &quot;green burial&quot; and &quot;natural burial&quot; refer to the same thing, the latter is a more relevant label - as the form of burial it represents is more than simply ecology-focused. </li></ul>Following are fundamentals of natural burial. <ul><li>concern and care for the environment forms the foundation </li></ul><ul><li>an emphasis on family community involvement and personal expression that gives meaning to the end-of-life ritual </li></ul><ul><li>A practical approach: simpler and more economical </li></ul>
  • 2. GREEN BURIAL COUNCIL <ul><li>While not a government mandated regulatory body, the Green Burial Council in Santa Fe New Mexico has become the de facto standard bearer and generally recognized natural burial certification body - for funerary products, funeral service providers, and burial grounds. </li></ul>The GBC has established a three-level Standards / Eco-Rating system for burial grounds that sets the tone for all facets of Natural Burial – as follows:
  • 3. LEVELS OF “GREEN” <ul><li>1. Hybrid Burial Grounds - a &quot;greener&quot; entry point that encourages more eco-friendly burial by removing the more wasteful and contaminating elements typical in conventional burial; </li></ul><ul><li>2. Natural Burial Grounds - a stricter and more thorough standard for ensuring an end-of-life ritual is energy-conserving, minimizes waste, and does not contaminate the earth or the people involved; </li></ul><ul><li>3. Conservation Burial Grounds - adding to the previous levels, this is a measure to incorporate end-of-life practices into legitimate land conservation. It protects in perpetuity land specifically designated for conservation, and all burial elements integrate with retaining and strengthening the nature of that land. </li></ul>
  • 4. BASIC LEVEL <ul><li>Here the focus is on not inhibiting decomposition, related to: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Embalming </li></ul><ul><li>2. Vaults </li></ul><ul><li>3. Burial Containers </li></ul>
  • 5. EMBALMING <ul><li>Embalming fluid containing formaldehyde may seep into and contaminate ground water. 4,500 litres are buried in every acre, in conventional cemeteries. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen and also poses serious health risks to death care workers directly involved with it’s use. It is used only in the circulatory system in human bodies, so only the skin is actually preserved (temporarily). </li></ul><ul><li>Embalming is not required by law in Canada nor in most states in the USA. With the use of refrigeration or dry ice, burial can take place up to 4 days after death. </li></ul>
  • 6. VAULTS <ul><li>2,000 tonnes of concrete are buried per acre, in conventional cemeteries. In the USA the quantity of concrete used every year in cemetery vaults is enough to build a two-way highway from Detroit to Chicago, and back again. </li></ul><ul><li>The reason for vaults is to support the unnatural manicured lawns and marble markers and asphalt walkways around crowded plots in conventional cemeteries. </li></ul>
  • 7. BURIAL CONTAINER <ul><li>Natural Burial does not require the use of a casket - the deceased can be wrapped in a shroud, favourite blanket or quilt, or any personal wrapping the family desires. </li></ul><ul><li>If a casket is used, it is biodegradable: untreated natural source material (wood, paper, bamboo, etc.) with no contaminant materials such as metal plastic or toxic glue. It follows that any form of wrap as described above would likewise contain no contaminant materials. </li></ul>
  • 8. ENHANCED LEVEL <ul><li>At the next level, an expanded focus on the environment now begins to consider the natural ecosystem: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Grave - Plot </li></ul><ul><li>2. Marker - Memorial - Decoration - Landscape </li></ul><ul><li>3. Visitation </li></ul>
  • 9. GRAVE - PLOT <ul><li>Burial plot density is typically much lower than the compact grid of conventional cemeteries. This both provides a more fitting end-of-life, and also considers the ecosystem being used. </li></ul><ul><li>Local ecosystem issues related to plants, animals and geology are identified and incorporated in the burial plot plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Graves are generally dug and buried by hand, to avoid wasted energy and harm to the ecosystem with machinery - as well as support the focus on natural processes. </li></ul>
  • 10. MARKER - MEMORIAL - DECORATION <ul><li>Memorials are greatly restricted, to preserve the natural habitat. Simple grave markers can consist of a flat stone or rock, native to local geology. Likewise native trees, shrubs or wildflowers can be used as markers. Grave decorating and landscaping are generally not allowed. </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative methods provided for memorializing: </li></ul><ul><li>precise locations of burial are recorded in GIS (global information system) databases </li></ul><ul><li>registry In a central group directory on display at a visitation station </li></ul>
  • 11. VISITATION <ul><li>Visitations to sensitive areas are usually restricted. </li></ul><ul><li>Pathways and benches are often provided, in scenic locations. Visitation stations also provide a non-intrusive means of memorial visits as well as serving for funeral ceremonies. </li></ul>
  • 12. CONSERVATION BURIAL <ul><li>This level reflects projects which establish natural burials as totally sustainable: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Significant projects: </li></ul><ul><li>- contiguous to or augmenting an ecologically </li></ul><ul><li>significant park, wildlife corridor or critical habitat </li></ul><ul><li>- OR big enough on its own to be considered a </li></ul><ul><li>significant conservation effort </li></ul><ul><li>2. Owned or operated by a charitable entity: </li></ul><ul><li>the “conservation partner” </li></ul><ul><li>- in possession of a deed restriction or conservation </li></ul><ul><li>easement ensuring perpetual use </li></ul><ul><li>- responsible for public access compatible with </li></ul><ul><li>ecological goals </li></ul>
  • 13. A DIFFERENT APPROACH <ul><li>Interwoven into the previously-described levels of environmental sensitivity are: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Family Community involvement - typically: </li></ul><ul><li>- hands-on handling of most or all aspects of </li></ul><ul><li>preparing, transporting and burying </li></ul><ul><li>- participating in wrapping of the burial shroud as </li></ul><ul><li>an act of closure </li></ul><ul><li>- commemorating the life lived: personal </li></ul><ul><li>expression </li></ul><ul><li>2. A different attitude: </li></ul><ul><li>- more relaxed, less hurried, more private, more </li></ul><ul><li>individual, and more peaceful </li></ul>
  • 14. ECONOMY <ul><li>The burden of an expense such as the $7,000+ average cost for conventional funeral and burial - at such a critical time - is unnecessary when: </li></ul><ul><li>- family and friends are directly involved and </li></ul><ul><li>handle much of the work </li></ul><ul><li>- burial materials are simple and practical </li></ul>
  • 15. NATURAL BURIAL GROWTH <ul><li>Natural Burial is becoming mainstream as more people become aware that natural burial is an option. </li></ul>Here in B.C. virtually every municipality is reevaluating the sustainability of cremation, which accounts for 76% of end-of-life practices in this Province (and over 65% across Canada). <ul><li>Commonplace in the UK, with over 200 natural burial grounds and cemeteries; </li></ul><ul><li>the number in the USA is approaching 50; </li></ul><ul><li>three ground-breaking cemeteries in Canada, with a large number of municipalities developing or contemplating plans for natural burial </li></ul>
  • 16. <ul><li>Acknowledgements to the following for their exceptional presentations on Natural Burial, insights from which are integrated here: </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Burial Grounds: “Why Go Green” </li></ul><ul><li>- PicasaWeb gallery: </li></ul><ul><li>https://picasaweb.google.com/110140794291403415327/NWWebsiteWhyGoGreen02?authkey=Gv1sRgCKbAxKz_g8SZ9gE#slideshow/5656617666264088354 </li></ul><ul><li>Memorial Ecosystems: “Conservation Burial” </li></ul><ul><li>- webpage slideshow: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.memorialecosystems.com/ConservationBurial/tabid/110/Default.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>Green Burial Council: “Standards - Burial Grounds” </li></ul><ul><li>- webpage: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/standards/burial-grounds/ </li></ul>

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