Many people are now asking questions about Green or Natural Burials and the possibility of this in Edmonton.
We are hosting a Green Burial Session on July 13th at St. Albert Funeral Home
Click here to get more information and to register. Registration Required. Limited Seating
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 are now three cemeteries at this time that have natural burial options – There are details on all of the websites that will give you more information about what is allowed and how they have developed that part of the cemetery.
We have new affordable service Tributes for Green Burials from a simple graveside service to having a full Service of Remembrance and reception after the burial.
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 are 3 cemeteries in Edmonton that allows green burials. More options may become available as this becomes a more popular option
- 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 in any of the cemetery natural burial areas. 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.
Some Interesting Facts About Green Burial
• Product will biodegrade at varying times depending on the composition of the soil and ground in that given area. Dryer climates will take longer than a wet soil environment.
• Products with no stain/finish will decompose faster than with a compound or stain finish
• When contemplating Green Burial products, it important to also consider steps taken to transport and move product to different regions – thus reducing additional carbon footprint
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. All of our Directors and Consultants are well versed on this and will ensure you have accurate and timely information.
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.
We have 2 shroud options. A bamboo shroud that is appropriate to be inside of a casket and one that can be utilized for burial directly to the ground.
We have a good assortment of environmental casket options as well.
- 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
- • Approved by the Green Burial Council
• Handmade using renewable wicker
• This product will biodegrade when
placed in the earth
• Natural unbleached cotton interior
• Suitable as casket of cremation
• Certified as a fair trade product
- Inside dimensions 77″L X 24″W