In the short piece below, the CBC’s On the Money program explores the rise in eco-friendly burials in Canada and how green burial could be part of the solution to the need for burial space across the country.
Known under many names, including “natural burial,” “eco-burial,” “woodland burial,” and “country burial,” green burial is rooted in minimising the impact of human burial on the environment. While the level of “greenness” varies, in practice, a green burial is considered to have at least two of the following pillars:
Does not include embalming;
A simple casket or shroud;
Does not include use of concrete grave liners;
Simple memorialization, and
Some aspect of habitat or ecosystems enhancement.
In the clip below, Erik Lees hosts an insightful discussion on Green Burial with two prominent leaders in the green burial movement in BC.
The December edition of Ground, the periodical published by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA), included an article exploring green burial and the concept of sustainability within the bereavement sector.
“Green Burial and Sustainability” by Katie Strang, includes perspectives on this topic from Catriona Hearn, one of the Senior Associates in our Vancouver office. Catriona led the design of the Woodlands at Royal Oak Burial Park, the first active green burial area in Canada in an existing cemetery, and is Vice President of the Green Burial Society of Canada.
According to Hearn, “The burial industry has become more sustainable —environmentally, socially, and, on some levels, economically. It’s incremental, and largely based on people understanding the value of land in a broader sense, especially as space becomes more precious, notably in urban areas. This has led people to see cemeteries as park space.” Read full article