Launching a natural burial ground in your community
All around Ontario there are individuals and groups who would like to see a natural burial ground in their community. Some people have property they’d like to convert to a natural cemetery, others are looking for land, or trying to persuade their conventional cemetery operator to create a green burial section. The following resources may be of help:
No one said it was going to be easy, but it’s worth it in so many ways. Here’s a document that provides an overview of the process and approvals that are required in Ontario.
Download Developing a Natural Burial Ground
Here’s the Ontario legislation which cemeteries must follow. It’s called the Funeral, Burial and Cremations Act.
The organization that approves cemetery applications and maintains standards is the Bereavement Authority of Ontario.
Their role is to protect the consumer. You’ll find a wealth of information on their website about all aspects of deathcare.
Green Burial Council
The Green Burial Council is a robust organization which supports green burials across North America and beyond, offering both accreditation and education. Even though the material caters to a US audience, it’s a great resource. There are documents, conferences and peer to peer online forums and you can sign up for their e-news.
Here’s a sampling of their documents:
Found under Education Tools:
The Case for Green Burials
The Science: Soil and Water
Basic Tenets of Green Burial Cemeteries
Found under So You Want To Start A Green Burial Cemetery
Opening, Closing & Maintaining a Green Cemetery
Start-up Tips for Green Burial Cemetery Operators
Green Burial Society of Canada
Green wash exists in the cemetery business just as it exists in other sectors. If you want to ensure you are engaging in best practices, reach out to The Green Burial Society of Canada. They provide accreditation across Canada so people know it’s the real deal.
Rather than create a stand-alone natural burial ground, you may want to start by encouraging a conventional cemetery to create a green burial section. There are some wonderful hybrid cemeteries in Ontario. Here are some tips:
- gather names of people in your community who are supportive of a natural burial ground
- reach out to the Natural Burial Association for documents that explain natural burial and can augment your pitch
- contact your town councillor and/or urban planner and see if you can find a champion to consider creating a hybrid in a municipally owned cemetery
- contact the privately owned cemeteries in your community. The Natural Burial Association can provide you with documentation that promotes the cause.