Planning a funeral is never fun. However, being prepared and having a plan in place for when your time comes makes things much easier for your loved ones that you leave behind. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already done some research or heard from someone else that there are other options besides your ‘typical’ burial service. One burial method has been around for many years and recently has seen a growing interest. Learn why people all over the country are choosing natural burial below in our article on Natural Burial Information & Advice: The Ultimate Guide: Natural Burials.
Natural Burial: The Basics
Natural burial is not for everyone, yet it has several key benefits that are pointed out throughout this article. Let’s start with the basics.
What is Natural Burial?
Natural burial is a type of burial that is eco-friendly and affordable. All materials used in the burial process must be biodegradable, nontoxic, and helpful in preserving the natural environment.
Natural burials often use caskets and urns that are:
- All Natural
- Animal-Based or
- Unfired Earthen Materials
In addition, there are no harmful chemicals used on the body. The body (and any container used to host the body) naturally decompose into the ground to preserve the environment and local wildlife instead of filling the ground with concrete and toxic substances.
Is Natural Burial Legal?
Natural burial is legal, however, there are several laws that vary per state regarding natural burial. This includes who can prepare the body, such as a funeral director or individual and whether or not the body needs embalming.
If you are considering natural burial, you should look into your state’s rules on the subject to be fully prepared.
What is a Natural Burial Ground?
A natural burial ground is an outdoor area used specifically for natural burials, and is often zoned as a cemetery by the local city.
Partnerships with green burial organizations and the city government ensure the natural burial ground will remain in eco-friendly conditions, offering beautiful land for humans and wildlife to enjoy.
Why Have a Natural Burial
Now that you understand the basics of natural burial, it’s time to learn why anyone would want to actually have a natural burial. Besides being environmentally friendly, natural burials are typically more affordable and some natural burial sites even offer funeral or memorial services.
What Does a Natural Burial Cost?
Most natural burial grounds charge between $500 for a scattering of ashes and $2000 for a single spaced burial.
Is Natural Burial Cheaper?
Considering that your average conventional funeral with embalming, casket, and funeral service costs around $10,000, a natural burial is indeed much cheaper.
How Does a Natural Burial Work?
Much of the options available with a standard funeral are also available with natural burial. If you or a loved one has a natural burial, you can still have a casket, funeral, memorial service, or spreading of your ashes.
Some green burial sites in Georgia even allow engraved stone markers or numbered and lettered pins so that you can easily locate the space your loved one was buried.
The Difference Between Natural Burials, Cremation, Embalming & Funerals
When deciding what to do at the end of your or a loved one’s life, you have several options. The most common option is embalming with a funeral service. However, cremation and natural burial are both favorable options. Discover the difference between natural burials, cremation, embalming and funerals below.
What Happens at a Natural Burial?
Every natural burial service is unique. As long as no harmful chemicals or materials are used in the decomposition of the body, most natural burial grounds allow you to spread ashes and even use natural embalming-like substances. Many also prefer the ability to have a funeral service, too.
Natural Burial and Cremation
Natural burial and cremation are two different options when someone has reached the end of their life. While many choose cremation to prevent the need of a tombstone and casket, natural burial offers the same advantages. Both natural burial and cremation are more affordable than standard funerals.
However, some natural burial grounds, including Milton Fields located in Georgia, allow you to bury a loved one’s ashes so you can have a “headstone” or marker to memorialize your loved one. This can be completed at an affordable rate.
Natural Burial Cost vs. Cremation:
Most natural burials start at around $2,000 in the state of Georgia. A direct cremation starts at around $1,000. This price does not include a funeral service or viewing of the body before cremation, so keep in mind that you may spend thousands more depending on your situation.
Natural Burial and Embalming
No embalming takes place in natural burial, saving a person in funeral costs. Embalming uses various chemicals, primarily formaldehyde to preserve the body and delay the break down of cells once someone dies. Although very popular, embalming is very harmful to the environment.
New research is however being done to find natural substances and essential oils that can be used for the same purpose without being detrimental to the Earth.
Natural Burial Cost vs. Embalming:
Considering that most times when a body is embalmed it is for aesthetic purposes for a viewing of the body, you will not only be paying for embalming, but also a funeral, casket, headstone, and more. When choosing embalming, most of the time you receive a “standard” funeral, which costs on average $10,000. Natural burial, however does not need any embalming, and costs around $2,000.
Natural Burial and Funerals
Funerals typically involve a viewing, ceremony, and burial. Additionally, one will have to purchase embalming, a casket, headstone, and pay various funeral home fees. With natural burial, you can still have a casket, however it is usually made from wood and is much cheaper.
Many “green” cemeteries will allow a small funeral service and/or provide a marker so family will know where their loved one was buried if they wish to pay respect in the future. You can often receive the same service offerings at a much cheaper rate with natural burial, while also helping the environment.
Natural Burial Cost vs. Funerals:
Natural burial typically starts around $2,000 for a single space, while your average funeral will cost around $10,000. Natural burial is much more affordable in comparison to funeral costs.
Planning a Natural Burial
If you are interested in planning a natural burial, you can go ahead and start by following the steps listed below.
Can I Have a Natural Burial?
Yes, you can have a natural burial. Natural burial is legal in every state, however certain rules and regulations may apply. Find a natural burial ground in the state you live to answer your specific questions.
How to Arrange a Natural Burial
Once you have found a natural burial ground you would like to use, start thinking about 1) if you would like a funeral service and 2) if you are interested in purchasing a stone marker for family to easily locate the space you were buried.
Luckily, for Georgia residents there is a natural burial ground located outside of Atlanta that has a variety of service offerings to make your natural burial unique.
Natural Burial in Georgia
Natural burial in Georgia is growing in interest, from people in Atlanta to those on opposite ends of the state. Milton Fields is Georgia’s only green burial cemetery and is truly dedicated to making your or your loved one’s natural burial everything you could imagine.
Whether you are searching for a simple spreading of ashes or would like to pre-purchase plots for your family, Milton Fields has all that you need to warmly pay your respects to the deceased, while also saving the environment.
Finding a Natural Burial Site in Georgia: Choose Milton Fields
As the only green burial perpetual care cemetery in the state of Georgia, Milton Fields closely partners with several green burial organizations, including Conservation Burial Partners. As an approved perpetual care cemetery by the Georgia Secretary of State and zoned as a cemetery by the City of Milton, you can rest assured that the environment and your burial will receive the dedication and respect both deserve.
One of Milton Fields’ highly favored service offerings compared to other natural burial sites is the ability to plant a tree next to a loved one’s ashes or whole body burial.
There are two sections in the location’s fields where this is available, and once the beautiful white dogwood trees are planted, family and friends can use the tree (in addition the optional burial marker) to easily find where their deceased loved one was buried.
Planting a tree when someone passes is beautiful and beneficial to local wildlife. Many natural burial grounds do not offer the ability to plant trees to remember a loved one, but at Milton Fields we are dedicated to doing all we can to honor your family and friends while also preserving the environment.
You can call Milton Fields today to learn more, schedule a visit, or reserve a burial spot at 404-372-5446