It wasn’t long ago that what this was the normal method of burying the dead. The body is buried without the use of chemicals, concrete vaults or steel coffins. There may be a wooden coffin or simply a shroud, or nothing at all. Our bodies came from the earth and, through green burial, they are returned there. Most green — or “natural” — cemeteries emphasize an uncluttered look that enhances the natural surroundings rather than cluttering them with monuments and other structures.
Cool Spring Natural Cemetery at Holy Cross Abbey in Northern Virginia is an outstanding example. Maintained by the Abbey’s Cistercian monks, the beautifully maintained grounds symbolize “the sacredness of all life and the dignity of the human person.” Although consecrated as a Roman Catholic Cemetery, Cool Spring welcomes people of all faiths.
As more people learn about it, green burial is becoming more popular but you may have to do a little research to find facilities in your area. There’s a list of green burial cemeteries on the Green Burial Council’s website.