Environmentally Friendly Tombstones -
Are There Suitable Memorials That Will Not Harm the
By Tom Tree
Choosing a suitable memorial for an environmental
activist can be a daunting process. Environmentally
friendly tombstones are available to serve as a memorial
for someone who cherished the earth during life, but may
be difficult to find. The goal is to find a tombstone
that does not use significant amounts of non-sustainable
resources, or that will simply biodegrade many years
afterwards. Making matters even more difficult are
cemeteries that only allow a narrow range of tombstone
Some forward thinking tombstone manufacturers in the U.
K. Have created tombstones made of composite plant
materials. These are designed to last for many years,
and then gradually dissolve into the ground over time.
The U. K. Is facing an extreme shortage of burial space.
The burial practices are changing rapidly there because
of the lack of space to bury compared to the increasing
need for burials. The country is quickly developing
burial practices that allow for more natural return to
In most cemeteries, the materials approved for
tombstones and memorials is limited. Cemeteries are
concerned with keeping control of how the cemetery
looks. So they tend to opt for a few choices that may
typically include granite, marble, or sandstone. For
families, the cost of these traditional materials is
very high and not easily affordable.
Faced with high burial costs and a growing concern for
the environment, many people are looking at green
burials as a better way to deal with the end of life.
Cemeteries are now available where burials may only be
accepted with simple pine boxes or even cloth shrouds as
the options. To mark burial places in these cemeteries,
family members may plant a tree or group of trees, or
they may choose a native rock, bush or flowers.
It is not uncommon for family members to find a burial
site at a green cemetery using electronic tracking
devices. Tracking chips included during internment help
family members to locate the plot later on. This modern
system assumes that no tombstone will be needed. But,
family can choose to use a flat rock or flat tombstone
marker to identify the exact spot as long as the natural
environment is not disrupted.
Some professional tombstone engravers actually believe
that a large stone is the most natural memorial
available. Their philosophy is that stones are earth and
therefore should serve as an environmentally friendly
tombstone. They believe that a beautifully engraved
stone is the most beautiful, natural tombstone of all.