Can I mark my loved one's grave in a green cemetery?
One thing people may not think about when deciding on a green funeral is how it will affect a grave marker.
The type of gravestone or marker used in a green cemetery will depend on the cemetery policies. Many cemeteries recognize that families still want a specific spot to visit, so they allow some type of grave marker.
There are three different types of green cemeteries. Depending on the type of cemetery you choose, the type of headstone or marker will likely need to be different from a traditional headstone.
Traditional headstones are made of things like marble, granite or iron. They are inscribed with the names and dates of the deceased. Traditional headstones can create a lot of carbon emissions to produce. The stone must be cut and hauled. It must be polished and inscribed. All of this takes resources and energy.
Green cemeteries, however, strive to be more natural and have a smaller environmental impact. The goal of a green cemetery is for it to look as natural as possible. So, the typical cemetery landscape with a manicured lawn and large headstones is not what they want. But they also know that people want to be able to mark their loved one’s grave site.
Green cemeteries have come up with different ways to get around this problem.
These days, many cemeteries are starting to trend toward large group memorial walls or sculptures. These walls list those buried in the area and some may show the location where they are buried as well.
Other cemeteries may use natural materials for markers such as uncut stones. In this case there are likely requirements for the size. Or stones may be limited to those that fit with the landscape, lay flat and are not polished.
And some green cemeteries may not have any markers allowed at all. Instead they want the landscape to remain as natural as possible. In these cases, the meadow or forest itself is the memorial.