Eco-Friendly Burial Options & Directory
Families that are seeking to celebrate a loved one’s life rather than dwell on the sorrow of their passing can make no more a caring, compassionate and eco-friendly choice than a natural burial.
A long-time focus of Destination Destiny’s founder Ed Bixby, these non-traditional funeral options are a positive and growing movement among today’s environmentally conscious.
By encouraging the participation of family and friends, natural burials make a connection to a loved one that is at once unique, accommodating and respectful.
You honor not only the life that was lived but also preserve the habitat we share until, indeed, our own times arrive.
Green cemeteries defined
Those wishing to celebrate the life of a loved one with a natural burial may inter them at registered green burial cemetery or memorial woodland—of which there are just over 90 throughout the United States.
Some are termed “hybrid” cemeteries where both natural and traditional burials may take place. For a cemetery to be exclusively green, only natural resources can be used. Natural cemeteries promote the restoration of poor soil and beautification of surrounding while allowing for sustained reuse of the land.
Simplicity is strived for with no grand burial vaults or upright grave markers being permitted.
A natural stone marker set flush to the ground or even a tree or shrub is sometimes used to identify a loved one’s resting place. Other natural cemeteries eliminate markers altogether and record locations by GPS.
Think of green cemeteries as serene sanctuaries of nature. To preserve the pristine natural landscapes and protect native plants and wildlife, most natural cemeteries limit personal plantings as well as memorial decorations like potted flowers, wreaths, flags, and balloons you might find elsewhere.
(Natural Cemetery Directory & Other Services)
Destination Destiny works with America’s leading funeral homes and crematoriums to provide natural burials and other environmentally conscious services to families upon the passing of a loved one.
- Colma Cremation Funeral Service, Colma, CA 650-757-1300
- DIY Dying, Long Beach, CA 562-850-7809
- Los Angeles Yacht Charter, Marina Del Ray, CA 424-328-1417
- Marshall Funeral, Ojai, CA 805-272-5645
- Chapel of the Pines, Placerville, CA 530-622-3813
- El Dorado Funeral Service, Placerville, CA 530-748-3715
- Simple Traditions, Sacramento, CA 916-488-2894
- Bay Area Mortuary, San Jose, CA 408-998-2202
- Martinez Family Funeral Home, San Jose, CA 408-347-8674
- Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home, Flemington, NJ 908-782-3311
- Knott’s Colonial Funeral Home, Hamilton, NJ 609-888-4723
- Fertig Funeral Home, Mullica Hill, NJ 856-478-2576
- The Godfrey Funeral Home, 809 Central Ave, Ocean City, NJ (609) 399-0077, [email protected]
- C.C. Van Emburgh Inc., Ridgewood, NJ 201-445-0344
- Smith Funeral Services, 1740 Greenwood Ave. Trenton, NJ 08609 609-570-5681
- Prout Funeral Home, Verona, NJ 973-239-2060
- Fitting Tribute, Brooklyn, NY 718-338-8080
- Hudson Green Funeral Services, 90 North Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 914-848-4140 [email protected]
- Cornerstone Funeral Service, Boring, OR 503-637-5020
- Hustad Funeral Haome, Portland, OR 503-286-9663
- KINKARACO® Green Funeral Products, San Francisco, CA 415-874-9698
- Toodleoo Floral Company, Fort Collins, CO 970-364-3108
- Passages International Inc., Albuquerque, NM 505-830-2500
Death Doula or End of Life Doula – assists families with body preparations, funeral arrangements and typically assist with home funerals. They are not licensed funeral directors but they are legally allowed to assist families with these services.
- Ashley Oppon, 609-469-4220, [email protected], Website: sankofahealingsanctuary.com
- Kilie Crowley, Vancouver, WA 360-772-8656
- Creating Honoring Spaces, Trina Wacasey, Half Moon Bay, CA 713-306-8112
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
When considering a natural burial for a loved one, you’re bound to have some questions. We encounter inquiries from individuals and family members often and are pleased to address any that you might have.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive.
How should our family start the conversation with funeral homes about Natural Burial services and other eco-friendly options like Tree of Life Cremations or Scattering Ashes at Sea?
Families should understand that this process is a virtual carte blanche experience, meaning you can do it almost any way you wish.
Begin by calling one of the funeral homes listed on this website that specialize in natural burials and express your desire for an eco-friendly funeral service.
You may have to interview several funereal directors. Services vary by the funeral home and by state, but the steps involved in a natural burial typically include pickup, permits, washing, shrouding, casketing, refrigeration, transportation to cemetery, witnessing of the burial or more.
Once all steps are explained to you, your family will need to decide your level of desired participation. In other words, what you anticipate doing yourselves vs. delegating to the funeral home?
What questions should we ask to see if the funeral home can accommodate our needs?
In addition to asking for an explanation of the procedures listed in the previous answer, you might inquire if the funeral home has refrigeration services?
Other questions would be do you allow families to participate? Do you offer eco-friendly products like shrouds and bio-degradable caskets? And, are you comfortable caring for and un-embalmed body?
How can we feel comfortable choosing the right funeral director and funeral home?
You should always expect an extremely high level of service. Time is always of the essence in a natural burial so a timely response becomes key.
The funeral home must also be caring and accommodating. If they recoil with the thought of natural burial or act like un-embalmed bodies are “dangerous,” then find a new funeral home. You want a forward-thinking funeral director who respects your wishes and seeks to accommodate your requests.
Can families contact Destination Destiny directly?
Yes, we encourage it. We want to support families in this difficult time and help them understand the natural burial process and its many options.
In fact, fully 90 percent of our requests related to our eco-friendly services are from families that contact us directly before ever speaking to a nearby funeral director. Call us first and we’ll refer you to the right local professional to assist you.