Many people are now asking questions about Green or Natural Burials and the possibility of this in Edmonton.
What is a Green or Natural Burial?
Green Burial is a personal choice for those who seek to minimize their impact on the local and global environment. For people who are mindful of the cyclical nature of life, green burial is a spiritually fulfilling alternative to conventional burial or cremation. It is an environmentally sensitive practice: the body is returned to the earth to decompose naturally and contribute to new life.
There is one cemetery at this date of March 2021 that has natural burial options – Rosehill Cemetery in the Meadows of Rosehill Section – There are details on their website that will give you more information about what is allowed and how they have developed that part of the cemetery.
We have options for individuals that would like a natural burial in regard to services and merchandise which will be listed below.
We want to ensure that you do have a good understanding of what that will mean to your surviviours so we have provided some information that you will want to reflect upon before making this decision.
- No one can bury a person on their own land. This is against the law. You will be required to be buried in a cemetery.
- You cannot be embalmed, your body must remain in a natural state. Some cemeteries in Alberta require all cotton clothing and only allow what would be considered biodegradable clothing. If a death has occurred and this is your option, we will ensure that you meet all the requirements before making final arrangements.
- You are not required to have a casket, and if that would be your choice then only biodegrade options are available to you. You can be buried in a simple shroud but this must also meet the requirements of the cemetery and safety of staff.
Other points of consideration
- There is only one cemetery in Edmonton, Rosehill that allows Green burials so you cannot be buried in another cemetery at this time. This could change in the future.
- If you are thinking of having a presentation before burial that may not be available to you with regard to no embalming and decomposition of a deceased person may not make that a pleasant experience for family.
- You certainly can have a service but there will be limitations of what can be done, it may be without your body present or with protective compostable biobag. This would be discussed with our preparation and restorative service department at the time of death to ensure this is a viable possibility.
- It is extremely important that you discuss this with your family so that they understand any limitations or restrictions that this may incur.
- Many people have asked if the grounds would be disturbed by animals and no. you will be buried deep enough that this does not occur. Also grounds staff watch all areas of the cemetery and if there is any disturbance, will take proper actions to protect people buried there.
- You cannot be buried alongside your loved one. Natural burial places go row by row so as to make minimal disturbance to the earth. Family members are given GPS co-ordinates for location as no other marking of the actual grave site can be done. The area at Rosehill is marked with a stone commemorating the natural burial area.
- Cremation is not allowed at the natural area at Rosehill. This means that if you want a natural burial and your partner wishes cremation, you cannot be buried together, however, you could be buried in the same cemetery in a different location.
- There may be religious consideration and one should discuss this as well.
- The cost of the natural burial will vary after all considerations are discussed, but people do tend to think this is an inexpensive and this is not exactly true. You still require professional staffing, documentations and registration, funeral vehicles, preparation and safe keeping, casketing or shrouding etc.
We will work with every family to ensure that your final good-bye is appropriate for you and also gives your family peace in saying good-bye.
Here are some of the burial options for families
The Shroud – Used to provide a sense of dignity and honor to the decedent, the shroud covers and protects the body while shielding it from public view during transportation and the burial process.
- All our green wood burial products are made in Canada
- Our willow and seagrass casket is certified by the Green Burial Society of Canada
- Poplar is the main wood species milled primarily due to it’s accessibility and proximity, thus minimizing the carbon footprint
- Our products contain no chemical finish, and when necessary a vegetable-based finish is used. This shortens the time it takes for the unit to decompose.
- Products are manufactured using wood hinges and wood finger joints to limit the amount of metal placed in the ground. They are 99% combustible
- Products are manufactured in a 100% renewable energy facility
- Interiors are made with 100% natural unbleached cotton
- Crafted by Hand using willow and sea grass
- Natural Unbleached cotton Interior
- Inside dimensions 77″L X 24″W