How to arrange a green burial in Atlanta, GA for $1,895

Green burial Atlanta GeorgiaAre you considering a greener alternative for your end-of-life wishes?  It seems more of us are now engaged with the environment and are looking for eco-friendlier options in many life choices.  This article can explain how to arrange a green burial in Atlanta.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), a recent survey indicated that 54% of Americans would consider a green funeral.  By all accounts, there has been a shift in funeral trends over the last decade.  A move away from expensive, traditional funerals and a move towards greener, simpler and more affordable funeral alternatives.

A traditional funeral would cost (on average) around $7,365 (NFDA) without any cemetery costs included.  More families are struggling financially to meet funeral expenses in today’s economic climate, and cremation has gained popularity in the last 10 years.  Cremation was considered to offer a ‘greener’ alternative to traditional burial.  And it is way more affordable.  A typical direct cremation service costs between $995 and $3,000 in and around Atlanta.

Why opt for a green funeral or natural burial?

But why this changing shift towards natural burial options?  The environment and the climate crisis has been a growing concern in society, especially over the last few years.  The big shift towards cremation has, I believe, been positioned to us by the funeral industry as it still gave them some power and control over our death-care options.  We needed a cheaper alternative to expensive traditional funerals.

But now more Americans are considering the carbon footprint of a cremation.  And if there is a more natural, and less detrimental option for disposition, we are open to consider it.

In 2017, a study conducted at the request of the City of Paris found that traditional burials generate, on average, 833 kilograms (or almost 1 ton) of carbon dioxide, nearly the equivalent of a round-trip flight between Paris and New York. Cremation produces an average of 233 kilograms (500 pounds).  A natural ‘green’ burial can eliminate the majority of any emissions, and if combined with replanting trees and natural vegetation, can even help to reverse greenhouse gases.

Natural Green Funeral Options GAWhat is considered a green funeral or natural burial?

The concept of a natural burial is to lay the body to rest returning to the earth in a natural state of recomposing. No embalming fluids are used in preserving the body.  After death, the deceased can be kept on dry ice, or in refrigerated storage, until the burial can proceed.

The body is buried in a simple wicker casket that is bio-degradable, a simple pine box (with no metal) or even just a burial shroud.  There are no concrete vaults.  A burial plot is dug and the body laid to rest.

Some green burial sites are nature preserves where trees or local shrubs are planted to help regenerate and conserve.  The natural burial sites and conservation burial sites are offering the ‘true’ future of natural organic death-care.  Although, many existing traditional cemeteries in Georgia have added a green division to their grounds to appeal to the growing demand for green burial.  These are what are known as hybrid cemeteries.

To learn more about green burial sites and memorializing a natural burial, visit the guide to green funerals on US Funerals Online.

Natural burial vs. Cremation

Direct cremation will cost you around $1,000 and a green funeral starts at around $2,000.  If you employ the services of a funeral director, there will also be their professional service charge to add to the natural burial plot fee.  However, as Georgia allows families to conduct their own home funeral or DIY funeral care, you do not necessarily need to employ a funeral director.

Green Burial ContainerHow much does a green burial cost in Atlanta, GA?

A green burial can save you money on funeral costs.  Typically a green burial will save you 40% on the cost of a traditional burial.  Our affiliate green funeral provider in Atlanta charges $1,895 for a green burial service.  This does not include the burial container, but a range of biodegradable caskets and shrouds are available.

If you have questions about arranging a green burial,

please call us on (470) 206-0404 and we will be happy to assist you.

Where can I have a green burial in Atlanta?

There are two bespoke Natural Burial sites around Atlanta.  Milton Fields in Milton and Honey Creek Woodlands in Conyers.  There is also Eco-Eternity Forest north of Atlanta in Dahlonega but only cremated remains can be interred in the forest.

Milton Woods was established in 1984 by Jim Bell on 17 acres.  There is a capacity for 4,000 burial plots on the meadowland.  Burial plot prices start at around $1,695.

Honey Creek Woodlands is a 2,300-acre nature preserve in Conyers operated by a Monastery.  A burial plot here costs $2,500.

You can pre-purchase a burial plot at either green burial site with a small down-payment.

Burial vs. Cremation: Things to Consider

As the US shifts towards cremation as the preferred death care choice, more families are asking questions about cremation to determine if choosing cremation is the right choice for them.

Deciding about the final disposition of a loved one can be one of the biggest decisions you make if you are charged with arranging a funeral.  If your family member did not have a funeral plan in place, or had not expressed their wishes before passing, it can be even harder to make decisions.

Cremation is the ‘buzz’ word in the funeral industry now, as we have witnessed the US shift from largely traditional burials to embracing cremation and a simpler and ‘no fuss’ death care alternative.

Cremation rates in the US

Credit: NFDA

How the cremation rate is changing

Since 2012 we have witnessed a shift towards cremation.  In 2014, the National Funeral Directors Association forecast that the cremation rate nationally would hit 77.8% by 2035.  This year they have reviewed that figure to 85%.  Many funeral homes in the DFS Memorials network report that 80% of their funerals are now cremation.

Even states that remained traditional in their death care and burial attitudes are beginning to shift to cremation options.

Why are families choosing cremation?

Although there are several reasons why families are choosing cremation, the biggest determining factor is cost.  A cremation is significantly cheaper than a traditional burial.  No casket is required, embalming is not required, and cemetery plots, vaults and fees can be eliminated.

With many Americans struggling financially, a cremation can prove a much more affordable means of conducting a disposition.

Aside from this, there is a growing trend towards simpler funeral choices.  Many Baby Boomers are just opting for a simple ‘no-fuss’ cremation.

We are now a more transient and transplant nation than ever before, with families spread across states, and even the nation.  This means that the notion of a traditional burial place no longer has quite the same meaning, and families are not able to memorialize in the same way. Many feel that cremation allows them to memorialize in a different way.

Our attitudes towards religion and the environment are also shifting, and this has impacted on death care choices.

How do burial and cremation prices compare?

An average traditional funeral costs in the region of $10,000.  A cremation can cost between $1,000 to $3,500.  Direct cremation, the least expensive cremation option, can cost between $500 – $1,000.  So, there is a significant saving if you opt for cremation.  DFS Memorials providers all offer a low-cost direct cremation to their communities.

In many cities, burial space has become limited, and therefore burial plot prices have increased.  In New York, for example, a cemetery plot alone can cost $18,000.

There are funeral providers offering very simple burial services, and even natural burial, and these can prove an inexpensive alternative to a traditional burial.

Choosing cremation

Families conducting their own memorial services

Cremation changes how we can memorialize a loved one.  There does not have to be a rush to conduct funeral services in a timely fashion before burial.  A cremation can be conducted and a memorial service held later.  This enables the family to have more control and flexibility over making funeral arrangements.

Some families still choose to inter the cremation urn, but some are beginning to seek alternative memorial options, such as ash-scattering in a memorial garden or special place; having some cremated remains made into a keepsake; or simply keeping the urn close by at home.

What should you really know if you are considering a cremation?

There are a few important considerations to make, and these are generally governed by state funeral legislation as well.

  1. Cremation is a very final disposition of remains. It eliminates all traces of DNA and any future examination of remains.  For this reason, there is certain protocol about authorizing a cremation.
  2. A cremation can only proceed when the Medical Examiner or Coroner has approved the cremation and issued a cremation permit. This is also to ensure there is no cause or concern that a cremation should not proceed.
  3. A Cremation Authorization Form must be signed by all immediate legal next of kin for a cremation to be legally conducted. If there is a dispute between siblings, a funeral provider will not proceed with cremation.
  4. In some states, there is a mandatory wait period after death before a cremation can be conducted, even if all permits and paperwork is in order. This ranges from 24-48 hours.
  5. Generally, it can take several days for a cremation to go ahead and the cremated remains available for the family. This is the time-frame for completing all necessary legal documentation, and scheduling the cremation.
  6. There are very strict protocols for crematory operators to ensure that cremation is handled in a respectful, dignified and safe manner. Rigorous ID checks are maintained throughout the process.  Only one body can be cremated in a retort, and the retort must be completely cleared before the next cremation.  Reputable funeral homes and crematories follow these protocols to the letter.  However, as cremation and a decline in profits, has hit the funeral industry there have been funeral homes cutting corners to meet their loss of income/profit.  It is always wise to select a trusted provider.  Although there are ‘budget’ cremation providers out there….cheapest is not always best!

If you still have questions about whether cremation is for you or your family, talk to your local funeral home or DFS Memorials cremation provider.  They will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Trends in cremation service