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Answered questions

Q: “(Have there) been inquiries around natural burial for Manitoba?” -Wilma

A: Unfortunately we do not currently have any contacts of people who have or are looking to start natural burial in Manitoba.

Is there anyone in Manitoba who is looking to start a natural burial site or can offer any support?  Please contact us.

Q: “What is the cost?” -George

A: Unfortunately we are unable to give you a cost to natural burial.  Since we are not a funeral or burial establishment we do not have our own price list, as well, there are many variations to natural burial which would adjust the cost and therefore we cannot properly inform you.

We recommend you contact a local funeral home and natural burial cemetery to discuss costs appropriate to you and your family’s needs.   The following link is a list of natural burial providers (http://www.naturalburialassoc.ca/find-a-provider/).  Keep in mind this list is updated as new natural burial establishments are opened.

Q: “I live in St. Albert, Alberta and I am very interested in a natural burial when my time comes.  Do you know if anyone in Alberta is working on this?  Do you have any contacts in Alberta that I could support?” -Gerrit

A: Unfortunately there are no known contacts whom specialize in natural burial in your province.  It is difficult at this time because right now the funeral industry is in the midst of transitioning to cater to new customer demands of an environmentally conscious means of disposition.

What we can recommend:

-Approach cemeteries in your area saying you are interested in natural burial and learn if there are any options which are allowed by their by-laws (or rules of the cemetery) to be more environmentally conscious.  Some cemeteries for instance require vaults to be interred on their cemetery property, others require headstones, etc.

-Approach funeral homes in your area as well.  Pre-planning is one way to not only ensure that your loved ones know what kind of care you would like upon your passing, but as well get the word out to the funeral service industry that there is demand for natural burial.  Funeral homes cater to the consumer’s needs and so saying what you would specifically like to happen will open up areas for discussion to make your disposition more environmentally friendly.  Options may include your casket/shroud selection, no stationary or the use of recycled paper instead, no embalming or asking about greener embalming solutions, etc. all varying on you and your family’s needs.

-Consider donating land to natural burial for conservation, or aid in the avocation for natural burial in your province.  This could simply include discussing natural burial with friends and family, or actively persuading local cemeteries to become more conscious of their impact on the environment.

The more people want natural burial, the more these companies will offer it.

Q: “How are animals prevented from disturbing burial sites?” -Wendy

A: Animals are of no concern to natural burial sites because Ontario’s legislation (and other provinces have similar legislation) requires that there must be at least two feet of earth on top of the deceased upon burial.  This is an effective deterrent for any disturbance caused by animals to the burial site.

Q: “I was wondering if there is a way to combine preservation of wood lots in Ontario with creating green burial sites?” -Tom and Terry

A: Yes, we think this is a very good idea, T! Using the demise of the citizens to create protected forests is the Big Win of natural burial, as we see it. It’s important to reduce the stress on the planet caused by burials (and cremation), but it’s even more valuable to use the money saved on burial expenses to preserve existing wood lots, and generate new ones.

Q: “I am looking for more information on converting part of our … cemetery that is wood land to a green burial section.  What would we need to do to legally bury a body in shrouds without a coffin?” -Paula

A: If you are setting aside part of an existing cemetery to be green then nothing needs to be done. It is solely your commitment to keeping it green.  As far as the law is concerned a green cemetery is no different than any other cemetery. The difference is only how each cemetery looks after it.

It is perfectly legal to bury a body in a shroud. The burial Act states a body must be buried in a container, however they provide no definition for a container, thus a shroud is perfectly acceptable.