Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Funerals > Green Burial

Green Burial Cost


How Much Does a Green Burial Cost?

 
low costScattering Ashes: $200-$300+average costBurying Ashes: $200-$1,100high costCustom Options: $2,500-$6,500
post E-mail post Post  

For people who like the idea of continuing to help the environment after they die, a "green" or "natural" burial forgoes harsh embalming fluids, sealed metal caskets and concrete vaults of a traditional burial. "Green" cemeteries often combine an open space conservation easement or trust with natural burial techniques.

Typical costs:

  • Burial in a natural burial preserve or green cemetery can cost $1,000-$4,000. This usually includes a burial plot, the fees to open and close the grave, a stone marker and a one-time charge to endow a perpetual care fund (to maintain the property as a natural burial site). Typically this does not include the cost of a funeral or memorial service, and any processing or transporting of the body by a funeral home or mortuary. The Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve[1] in upstate New York, charges $750 for a 15-by-15-foot burial plot plus $700 for opening and closing the grave. The Ramsey Creek Preserve[2] in South Carolina charges $2,500-$3,500 for a grave site, stone marker and native plants, plus $300-$500 to open and close the grave, and $85-$200 for engraving the marker.
  • Although cremating a body is an industrial process that burns fossil fuels and can release air pollutants, it uses far fewer resources than traditional burial. Some natural burial preserves or green cemeteries allow the scattering or burial of cremated ashes in areas that create or protect native habitat, typically at a Scattering cost of $200-$300 or more. White Eagle Memorial Preserve[3] in Washington requests a $250 donation for scattering ashes in the preserve. Burying cremated ashes in a green cemetery or natural burial preserve can cost $200-$1,100, depending on location. At Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve[4] in the Florida panhandle it costs $200 to bury cremated ashes, which includes a marker and a map; the Ramsey Creek Preserve[5] in rural South Carolina charges $550-$1,050 for cremation burial; and PerfectMemorials.com[6] sells biodegradable urns for $60-$230. This does not include the cost of cremation, which averages $1,000-$2,500 for all aspects of a simple direct cremation handled by a funeral home, mortuary or crematory. See How Much Does Cremation Cost.
  • There are other environmentally friendly options. For $2,500-$6,500, EternalReefs.com[7] mixes cremated ashes into concrete to form an artificial reef ball that is then added to a living coral reef, creating new marine habitat . The price includes placing the new artificial reef on the ocean floor, but does not cover the cost of a funeral or of family members participating in the reef placement. Also see How Much Does Scattering Ashes Cost.
Related articles: Gravesites, Headstones, Will, Funeral

What should be included:
  • Typically, an unembalmed body is placed in the ground wrapped in a blanket or cloth shroud. If a casket is used, it's biodegradable --soft pine or cardboard. Or, cremated ashes are raked into the soft ground or buried in a container designed to degrade, blending the ashes into the soil.
  • Compared to the traditional cemetery plot of 3'x10', natural burial plots range from 6'x12' to as large as 20'x20'. Usually only one body and one set of cremated remains may be buried in a single site. Typically, gravesites in a green cemetery are mapped and recorded, but often are reached by pathways rather than roads or paved walkways. Grave markers are unobtrusive -- usually an engraved boulder or a small metal plaque. The Natural Burial Cooperative provides an overview[8] .
  • Green cemeteries range from hybrids that offer a mix of natural and conventional burial sections, to dedicated natural burial grounds with a conservation trust in an area that is ecologically significant or that serves as a wildlife corridor or critical habitat areas. The Green Burial Council provides an overview of the types of green cemeteries.
  • A green burial might require family members of the deceased to take more initiative in the funeral and burial. Glendale Nature Preserve in Florida explains what to do[9] when acting as the funeral director. Many green cemeteries or burial preserves encourage family members and friends to help with the burial, including carrying in the body.
  • Most natural burial grounds include areas for burying cremated ashes, but many try to promote the idea of natural burial (returning the body to the earth as nutrients) rather than the more industrialized cremation process. However, newer cremation facilities may use significantly less energy and release fewer pollutants than older ones. The Green Burial Council lists standards for cremation disposition programs[10] .
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


10 Key Ways to Prepare for Extreme Snow
Forecasters are predicting a true nor'easter will hit the eastern and central states with rain, thunderstorms, ice, snow and high winds over the Thanksgiving weekend. It's crucial to plan ahead, before bad weather hits. || Posted November 26 2013


10 Most Popular Cosmetic Procedures Before the Holidays
With reunions and other get-togethers scheduled during the holiday season, most people want to look their best at this time of year. For some, that means filling in those wrinkles with a bit of botox, or having a nip and tuck down here and there. || Posted November 23 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With a Green Burial
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Services Included: Company Used: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  naturalburial.org/?option=com_content&task=view&id=21&Itemid=38
  2.  www.memorialecosystems.com/Default.aspx?tabid=66
  3.  naturalburialground.com/htm/policy.htm#costs
  4.  www.glendalenaturepreserve.org/pricelist_p.html
  5.  www.memorialecosystems.com/Default.aspx?tabid=66
  6.  www.perfectmemorials.com/biodegradable-urns-c-284.html
  7.  www.eternalreefs.com/
  8.  www.naturalburial.coop/about-natural-burial/
  9.  www.glendalenaturepreserve.org/legal2_p.html
  10.  www.greenburialcouncil.org/faqs-fiction/
More Personal Finance Topics
Check Out All Costs for Personal Finance How Much Do Tax Returns Cost? How Much Does Closing a Home Cost? How Much Does a Traffic Ticket Attorney Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com




Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
24hour locksmith
Paid: 115.00
This is a crooked company.24 hour locksmith in Omaha ne... [more]
-stuart
Locksmith Cost
A very long driveway! 50 YARDS
Paid: 40.00
Gave a $10 tip, so a total of $50. He ran truck thru driveway and hand shoveled the sidewalks, deck and steps. I tried to get a head start last night -but overnight the drifts grew to 5 and 6 feet or more... [more]
-Tuffy
Snow Removal Cost
Geo-Thermal
Paid: 0.00
We purchased a home built in 1992 with a Geo-Thermal. We were so excited, now we are Not impressed. Yes it is quieter, but the savings are not significant. Every year we have an issue and very few companies work on them... [more]
-LISAM
Geothermal Heat Pump Cost
Oil burner prime
Paid: 80.00
This seems like a lot of money to prime an oil burner. A task that takes 5 minutes and a bill for $80... [more]
-Mark Stevens
Furnace Tune-up Cost
Tummy tuck
Paid: 0.00
I'm a 46 yr old beautiful woman I only look about 35 I'm often mistaken for my 25 yr old sons wife however I'm fairly thin and fit but my tummy is large & sagging and gives me a huge complex I've done exercise dieting the rest of me ge... [more]
-Ahagg
Tummy Tuck Cost
Interpreter
Paid: 200.00
$200 was the best money ever spend in hiring Albanian court interpreter Mr Oliver Kici to interpret for a deposition my mother had on December of 2014 Having a professional interpreter made a huge difference on the way the deposition was h... [more]
-Edmond
Interpreter Cost