You may have heard of natural burials before, but you may not know what they are or whether they’re suitable for you. Natural burials are burial practices that treat the body with respect and dignity, without the use of embalming chemicals or metal caskets. The best thing about natural burials is that they allow your body to return to the earth ecologically, recycling the nutrients in your body back into nature in order to help feed trees and plants in the ground. However, there are also some cons to natural burials that you should be aware of before deciding on this option for yourself or your loved one.
Pros of Natural Burials
Here are three advantages of choosing a natural burial:
- Better for the environment: Natural burialmeans being buried in a biodegradable casket or shroud, without embalming or any other chemicals. It’s more environmentally friendly than a traditional burial, as well as less expensive for families. Natural burials can be arranged through most funeral homes, which are able to choose their providers for natural burial products. Many cemeteries now have sections designated for natural burials that encourage biodiversity and foster healthier soil — meaning no chemicals are used to maintain them. For some folks, it just makes sense to be closer to nature at life’s end. Some states also offer tax incentives or discounts on traditional cremation if you opt for a green burial instead, which might make it cheaper overall.
- Uncomplicated and straightforward: One of my favorite things about natural burials is how uncomplicated they are. However, do you know that natural burials take simplicity to another level by asking even less of us? There’s no need for embalming, which makes it much easier on families during what can already be an incredibly stressful time. While embalming is definitely not always necessary, it does play an important role in preserving bodies post-mortem.
- Great views: Natural burial is often done outdoors on beautiful land, far away from busy roads and traditional cemeteries. On many natural burial grounds, you’ll be surrounded by wildlife and trees as you lay to rest. Your loved ones can visit your gravesite and enjoy a peaceful walk or picnic, all while enjoying nature. A nice benefit of a natural burial is that these spaces typically offer great views of your surroundings; people say they feel closer to heart when they visit their loved one’s grave. If you live in an urban area where it’s hard to escape daily life for some quiet time with nature, consider arranging a natural burial spot for yourself after your passing.
Cons of Natural Burials
Before you make up your mind, let us look at two disadvantages of a natural burial:
- No grave markings: If you’re looking for a burial ground that provides a unique setting with no grave markings, natural burial grounds may be for you. However, many people prefer to have some way of identifying their loved ones resting places after they’ve passed on. The absence of grave markers or living memorials can pose some problems when it comes to visiting family members’ final resting places; unless you already know where each person is buried. Some natural cemeteries will plant trees or shrubs to denote where family members are buried.
- Slow decomposition: Although natural burialis an eco-friendly and cost-effective option, dead bodies don’t decompose as quickly as they do in a conventional cemetery. This might be a deterrent for those who want to spend eternity in a green cemetery but don’t want to wait 30 years or more for their body to break down naturally. In addition, traditional burial grounds are usually located on easy-to-access land near major highways, making it convenient for family members to visit regularly. This isn’t usually possible at many natural burial grounds.
No matter which option you ultimately go with, rest assured that it will be the best decision you can ever make for yourself or your loved one.