Green Burials Catch on Amongst the Eco-Friendly Set

It’s no longer enough to live an eco-friendly life; now, the greenest of the green are planning for their own eco-friendly deaths. A small but growing number of people are seeking out burial in green cemeteries. Ramsey Creek Preserve in Westminster, S.C., is one such spot, a 35-acre expanse of woodlands where coffins must be biodegradable, embalming fluids are a no-no, plants and flat stones are used as grave markers, and families are encouraged to go hiking and bird-watching. The aim is to keep land in a more natural state and cut down on the use of embalming fluid (hundreds of thousands of gallons of the toxic stuff are used in the U.S. each year). The green-burial trend is particularly hot in Britain, where 180 eco-cemeteries have opened in the past decade. Many environmentally sensitive future corpses also choose cremation, and the more adventurous can have their cremated remains added to an artificial reef.