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Alternative Burial Methods That Might Interest You

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When we think about burial methods we tend to think of the traditional options such as a church burial or burial in a cemetery via the undertakers. These days though, with space at a premium, there is often not enough room in traditional cemeteries which means either being interred away from your church or seeking alternative means. However, due to lifestyle or religious choices, this may not be an option so here we are going to take a look at some alternative burial methods that may interest you when you finally kick the bucket and say goodbye to the world.


Cremation is becoming more popular as more religions become tolerant of this means of disposal and it is done in two separate ways. It can either be done as part of a religious service at the crematorium or the body can be quickly cremated without a service, and the ashes returned to the family. It can be difficult to know what to use as an urn so consult with professionals at who can advise you in a compassionate manner what would be best for your needs. You can then keep this cherished memory of your loved one at home where it is close to your heart.

Woodland Burial

Did you know that you do not have to be buried in the local cemetery or in the churchyard? There are a growing number of sites that cater for woodland burial, whether religious or not, and there is often a hall or a room where a service or wake can be held afterward. The idea behind a woodland burial is that you are returning yourself to nature in the least intrusive way possible, leaving the world a better place. To mark the burial a tree will often be planted over the grave allowing loved ones to visit for years to come. If you wish to be embalmed then you cannot be buried in this way as the chemicals can be hazardous, you must also bear in mind that the coffin used should be biodegradable. 

Sea Burial 

Sea burial is traditionally the preserve of the navy, however, it is becoming more popular in the 21st Century outside of the seafaring world due to the fact that it is an incredibly green way for your body to go. It will simply add to the food chain. Normally these types of burials are carried out via a boat but it is increasingly common to use an airplane for the purpose. You will need to check with the local authorities as there can be restrictions about where you are allowed to be buried at sea. These burials can have a religious element or not according to your wishes, so why not think about it the next time this difficult subject comes up? 


We have all heard of mummification due to our fascination with Egyptology but is it really possible to be mummified in the current day and age? You bet it is. Whilst it is not cheap there has been a surge of interest in recent years. The lengthy process involves embalming the body which was done in order to prepare the body for the afterlife. The mummified body is then placed in a casket or sarcophagus and placed in a Mausoleum. So, if you fancy something different for your afterlife, start saving now, and maybe you can find out if what the ancient Egyptians believed happens holds true. 

Sky Burial 

Sky burial is an ancient practice developed by the Zoroastrians and currently practiced in parts of northern India, China, and Tibet. Vajrayana Buddhists believe in the transmigration of spirits and that once a person has passed there is nothing left in the body so there is no need to preserve it, it can be left to nature to decompose, often eaten by vultures and carrion animals. Once the flesh has been eaten the bones are ground up and fed to waiting crows and hawks, thus ensuring the whole body is consumed ensuring the recycling of nutrients. Although less common nowadays, it is still an incredibly eco-friendly way for your body to go to a better place.

As we have discovered there are many different options available to traditional burial, and they all have their place whatever your religion or creed. Some methods try to use the most natural process possible for example woodland burial, whereas others derive from ancient history such as mummification, or from necessity such as sea burials where a decomposing body could not be left on a ship for fear of spreading disease. If you are seeking an alternative burial do your research as some options require preparation well in advance, and RIP when you get there. 

7 thoughts on “Alternative Burial Methods That Might Interest You

  1. EPAs Burial at Sea General Permit requires that cremains be scattered a minimum of 3 nautical miles as measured from the baseline in ocean waters. Scattering in inland waters is prohibited in all 50 states unless a permit is issued pursuant to the Clean Water Act (and no state has ever issued that permit). Whole body burial in ocean waters is allowed provided you properly weight the casket/body so it sinks and remains at the bottom. You must be in a minimum of 600′ of water. On the east coast, this is about 60 miles offshore. Notification to EPA must take place within 30 days of the burial.

    It is possible to have your cremains incorporated into a reef ball and to become part of an artifical reef. Google “Eternal Reefs.” It’s actually pretty cool.

  2. Anyone interested in alternative burial methods should read the book “Grave Matters” by Mark Harris. It’s a short read and gives an excellent run down of options from least environmentally friendly to most environmentally friendly. After reading it, I decided traditional burial was definately NOT for me. It goes through many of the final disposition options like traditional burial, burial from home, woodland burial, cremation, feef balls (eternal reef), sea burial, liquification, etc.

  3. I’d like to be cremated with dignity. How can I be sure they don’t steal my gold teeth fillings?

  4. I wonder if anyone would like to be buried in front of Village hall

  5. Depressing ,,,,

  6. Do I need to wear a mask when I’m burried and do the graves need to be 6 feet apart?

  7. The wood chipper in Fargo looked inexpensive…or how about when Jon Voight swam out to see in “Coming Home” ?

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