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Going Down Green – 5 Criteria for an Eco-Friendly Burial

eco friendly burialEco-friendly, natural or Green earth burial is gaining momentum. According to a 2013 study done by the Natural Burial Association of Canada, 50% of respondents viewed natural burial favorably, after they were aware of this option. On March 7, 2013 the Green Burial Society of Canada (GBSC) was incorporated as a society. At the AGM, this not-for-profit organization developed 5 criteria for green or natural burial designation:

1. No embalming
2. Simple covering of the deceased such as a shroud or simple box
3. No concrete liner or vault
4. Simple memorialization
5. Some aspect of habitat enhancement

The Canadian Green Burial Council in conjunction with the GBSC work together to designate cemeteries and funeral related businesses as environmentally friendly.

Currently, there are three natural cemeteries certified by Canada’s Natural Burial Association Royal Oak Burial Park in Victoria BC which was the first opening in 2008. Union Cemetery in Cobourg ON, and Meadowvale Cemetery in the Greater Toronto Area. These natural burial options provide a tranquil, beautiful and natural setting that invites people to return often.

Canada may be a little behind the times as Green burial options have been available in England since 1993 and now there are approximately 270 green burial locations in the United Kingdom. In the United States when green burial locations started in 2008, there were only a dozen or so and now there are over 300 green burial locations.

Results from a 2013 study done by the Natural Burial Association indicated that only 20% of respondents were aware of green burial options, and close to 50% of respondents would favor green burial once they were aware of this alternative. Perhaps we will find that more Canadians will select green burial options as it becomes more available as an alternative to traditional earth burial.

If you would like more information, you can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of this post if you are reading this blog post on the website.

Until next time,



2 replies
  1. Ann Dickie says:

    Green Burial is the way for me. However, the closest site to where I live is Victoria. So that would mean transporting the body. Is that possible? There is a green burial area in Mountain View Vancouver, B.C. which is closer but it is an area of lawn which to me is not environmentally friendly.

    • Kat says:

      Hi Ann, thank you for sending along your comments and questions. It is possible to have a funeral home transfer your body to the desired cemetery. What you need to find out is the transfer radius of the funeral home. Funeral homes charge a transfer fee for a defined radius and a surcharge for travel beyond that radius.
      Let me know how this works out for you.
      Kindest Regards, Kat


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