Our goal is to provide a commonsense, traditional, affordable alternative to contemporary burial—a choice that respects you and your loved ones.
Green burial offers the opportunity to give something back to the land and to the life that springs from it. A natural burial at Greensprings gives many who choose this option a personal pride in helping to restore the land that will be their eternal home.
Greensprings doesn't look much like a cemetery. It more closely resembles a typical nature preserve with wandering trails. Instead of somber headstones: trees, wildflowers, grasses, rolling meadows surrounded by forests. Every so often one comes across a flat stone marker; a field stone, often unearthed during the opening of the grave, engraved and laid flush with the earth. Even those markers aren't required, and some choose to mark graves only with native plants, or leave them unmarked to be completely reclaimed by the meadow.
Greensprings is certified by the Green Burial Council and is part of a national movement that provides natural, commonsense, sustainable option for simple burial. These options are also more family and community centric than current "traditional" burial practices.
As the green burial movement grows, it has the potential to restore and protect hundreds of thousands of acres around the world.
Ecological Costs of Contemporary Burials
Each year in the U.S., 22,500 traditional cemeteries put roughly the following into our soil:
- 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid
- 30-plus million board feet of hardwoods (much tropical, caskets)
- 90,272 tons of steel (caskets)
- 1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete (vaults)
- 14,000 tons of steel (vaults)
- 2,700 tons of copper and bronze (caskets)
On average, a cemetery buries 1,000 gallons of embalming fluid, 97.5 tons of steel, 2,028 tons of concrete, and 56,250 board feet of high quality tropical hardwood in just one acre of land.
There are also all of the polluting fertilizers and pesticides that traditional cemeteries use to keep their lawns well manicured.
Ecological Costs of Contemporary Cremations
- Each cremation releases between .8 and 5.9 grams of mercury as bodies are burned. This amounts to between 1,000 and 7,800 pounds of mercury released each year in the U.S. 75% goes into the air and the rest settles into the ground and water.
- You could drive about 4,800 miles on the energy equivalent of the energy used to cremate someone – and to the moon and back 85 times from all cremations in one year in the U.S.
- Cremation removes the body from the cycle of nature, keeping it from nourishing new life
Cremations in Tompkins County release between 1.2 and 6.8 pounds of mercury into the atmosphere each year. This estimate is based on a 20% statewide cremation rate.
Your choice for natural burial is a choice for natural renewal and growth – a way to give back to the earth that sustains us all.
Save a forest … plant yourself!