January 7, 2009
Indianapolis - There's a new way to bury a loved one in Indiana as the green movement is now affecting even the final resting place. It's the one experience everyone will face someday.
"It's the one certainty that we know isn't going to change, that we deal with on a daily basis," says Barb Milton with Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers.
Milton is talking about death. But she says what is changing is the way people are deciding to rest in peace.
"I also kind of refer to it as retro-burial because it's going back to basics," says Milton.
Milton says the funeral industry is running into more eco-friendly customers who want to go green even when they're going to their final resting place.
"You get back to the earth faster," explains Milton.
And to do that, green customers are considering wooden caskets or even ones made of wicker. But there's more to a green burial.
"Nowadays, with refrigeration and dry ice and things like that, the body can be preserved in different ways instead of using formaldehyde-based embalming products," says Milton.
Plus, there's no burial vault inside the ground to protect the casket.
"Ideally everything is going to go back into a natural state," explains Milton.
And above ground, there are no tombstones to mark the grave.
"You might be near the big oak tree or you might be near the path that leads back in," says Milton.
The city's first green cemetery will be on five acres near the back of Washington Park North Cemetery off of Kessler Boulevard. So far, 12 customers have made arrangements for a green funeral and six are waiting for the green cemetery to be ready.
But don't think going green in death means going cheaper.
"It's probably going to be comparative," says Milton.
Indianapolis' first green cemetery should be open sometime this spring, just in time for that season when new life begins.
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