Getting Your Affars in Order

The Ins and Outs of Green Burial: An Environmentally Conscious Alternative to Traditional Funerals

Traditional Funerals

As our society becomes more environmentally conscious, many people seek sustainable alternatives to traditional practices in various aspects of life, including end-of-life arrangements. Green burial, an emerging funeral method that prioritizes environmental stewardship and natural decomposition, offers a unique and eco-friendly alternative to conventional funerals. By utilizing biodegradable materials, minimizing resource consumption, and supporting natural processes, green burials provide a respectful and environmentally responsible way to commemorate a life well-lived.

In our upcoming blog article, we will delve into the details of green burial, discussing its principles, processes, and benefits, as well as addressing common concerns and misconceptions. We will explore how green burial aligns with various ethical, religious, and philosophical beliefs, and provide guidance on determining if this approach suits your values and preferences.

Furthermore, we will highlight considerations for pursuing green burial in the context of funeral pre-planning and end-of-life arrangements in BC and Alberta. By understanding the range of options and resources available for green burial in Western Canada, you can make an informed decision that reflects both your personal values and the legacy you wish to leave for future generations.

Join us as we explore the ins and outs of green burial, an environmentally conscious alternative to traditional funerals. Discover how Getting Your Affairs in Order can support your end-of-life planning process and ensure your funeral preferences align with your core beliefs and environmental values. By arming yourself with knowledge and creating a comprehensive plan, you can find peace of mind knowing that your final farewell will pay tribute to your life’s commitment to sustainability and the well-being of our planet.

The Ins and Outs of Green Burial: An Environmentally Conscious Alternative to Traditional Funerals

Principles and Processes of Green Burial

The foundation of green burial lies in minimizing the environmental impact of end-of-life rituals. This environmentally friendly funeral option adheres to several guiding principles that distinguish it from traditional burials:

1. Biodegradable materials: Green burials use only biodegradable and non-toxic materials for caskets, shrouds, and grave markers to facilitate natural decomposition and minimize harm to the surrounding ecosystem.

2. Natural settings: Green burial sites are often specifically designed to maintain or restore native landscapes, creating peaceful and environmentally sustainable final resting places.

3. Minimal intervention: Embalming, the process of preserving a body with chemicals, is not used in green burials. Instead, practices that support natural decomposition, such as refrigeration or dry ice, are employed as needed in the short term.

Evaluating the Environmental Benefits

There are several environmental benefits associated with green burial methods, including:

1. Conservation of natural resources: Green burial practices minimize resource consumption by foregoing traditional vaults, concrete grave liners, and metal caskets. This reduced use of non-renewable or scarce resources promotes responsible and sustainable end-of-life arrangements.

2. Reduction of chemical pollution: By opting for alternatives to traditional embalming processes, green burials help mitigate the release of toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde into the surrounding environment.

3. Promotion of biodiversity and habitat restoration: Many green burial sites prioritize the preservation and restoration of native ecosystems, providing valuable habitats for local wildlife and promoting ecological diversity.

Addressing Concerns and Misconceptions

Despite the growing interest in green burials, some misconceptions and concerns about this funeral method still circulate. Addressing these concerns can provide a better understanding of the practice:

1. Disease and sanitation concerns: Contrary to popular belief, embalming is not a legal requirement, nor is it necessary for the sanitary internment of a body. In most cases, bodies pose little risk to public health, and natural decomposition will occur without issue.

2. Religious and cultural considerations: While individual beliefs and preferences vary, many religious and cultural perspectives are compatible with green burial practices. Consult with your faith or cultural leaders to ensure that a green burial aligns with your specific values and customs.

3. Availability of green burial options: Although not as widespread as traditional burials, the availability of green burial sites is increasing across Canada. Conduct research and communicate with your funeral pre-planning and end-of-life planning specialist to explore local options.

Considering Green Burial in Funeral Pre-Planning

If you are interested in incorporating green burial practices into your end-of-life arrangements, consider the following steps in your funeral pre-planning process:

1. Research local options: Investigate local funeral homes, cemeteries, and memorial services that offer green burial services, and familiarize yourself with BC and Alberta’s specific regulations.

2. Discuss with loved ones: Communicate your preferences and values with family members, friends, and estate planning professionals to help them understand your desire for an eco-friendly burial.

3. Formalize your arrangements: Work with a funeral pre-planning specialist to determine the specific needs and costs associated with a green burial and formalize your plans in writing.


Green burial offers an environmentally conscious alternative to traditional funerals, providing an opportunity for a more sustainable and nature-focused approach to end-of-life arrangements. By understanding the principles, processes, and benefits of green burial, as well as addressing common concerns and misconceptions, individuals can make informed decisions about their funeral preferences and plans.

As you consider your end-of-life planning options, remember that Getting Your Affairs in Order is here to guide and support you through the complex yet essential decision-making process. Our expert team can help you navigate the intricacies of green burial options and funeral pre-planning in BC and Alberta. 

By working closely with our specialists, you can achieve peace of mind knowing that your final farewell will honour both your personal values and your commitment to the environment.

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