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Green Options

While many of us aim to make eco-friendly choices in our day-to-day lives, we may be unaware we have greener options for after-death arrangements. There are several options available to us now in Washington State, including green burial, alkaline hydrolysis (aquamation), and natural organic reduction (human composting). The disposition of our body is the final statement we make on this earth and we encourage you to think about the legacy you want to leave your loved ones and future generations.

Green Burial

What we now call green burial was standard practice through much of human history. Families, faith communities, and most cultures cared for their own dead. The deceased were placed in simple wood caskets or natural-fiber shrouds and then directly into the soil. People’s Memorial has been a leader in making simpler, greener, and more natural options available. People's Memorial contracts with one green cemetery and one funeral home. Members receive a 15% discount off home funerals, green burial plots, services, and merchandise from these providers.

PMA Contracted Cemeteries Offering Green Burial

The Meadow Natural Burial Ground (Ferndale)

The Meadow Natural Burial Ground, founded in 2009, was the first certified natural burial ground in Washington State and is part of Moles Greenacres Memorial Park in Ferndale. Each natural burial adds to the restoration of The Meadow’s native ecosystem. A “guild” of three harmonious native plants—a tree, a shrub, or groundcover—can be planted at the gravesite in memory of the deceased. Engraved river rocks are also available for memorialization.

PMA Contracted Funeral Homes Offering Green Burial

Both of our contracted funeral homes offering green options offset the carbon produced by each cremation by investing in wind and solar energy through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, a Northwest nonprofit. 

The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial (Seattle)

Additional Green Burial Providers in Washington

A Sacred Moment (Everett and Seattle)

White Eagle Nature Preserve Cemetery at Ekone Ranch (Goldendale)
The White Eagle Nature Preserve Cemetery at Ekone Ranch is a certified conservation burial ground situated near the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Opened in 2008, its 20 acres are set within 1,100 permanently protected acres of oaks, ponderosa pines, and meadow. It is the only wilderness cemetery in the country. Wildlife includes deer, eagles, and the occasional bear.

Cedar Lawn Green Cemetery (Redmond)
A special section of a conventional cemetery.

Greenwood Memorial Terrace and Riverside Memorial Park (Spokane)
Natural burial grounds sections within existing cemeteries.

Alkaline Hydrolysis (Aquamation)

Alkaline hydrolysis or "aquamation" is a gentle process that uses water, temperature, pressure, and alkalinity (potassium hydroxide) to reduce the body to bones, which are then processed into ashes and returned to the family in an urn. Cremation does the same reduction using flame, however aquamation uses 1/8th of the energy.

Aquamation is now available in Washington State. The Co-op Funeral Home charges $1,650 for PMA members and $1,940 for nonmembers. Eastern Washington residents have aquamation available through English Funeral Chapel, who charge $2,205.75 for PMA members and $2,595 for nonmembers.

See all PMA Contracted Funeral Homes offering aquamation here. Contact your nearest PMA Contracted Funeral Home to see if they are offering this service. If so, PMA members receive 15% off their price for the service.

Natural Organic Reduction

Natural organic reduction is a process developed by Katrina Spade, Founder and CEO of Recompose, to gently convert human remains to soil. This process uses large tanks, containers, or similar vessels to hold human remains together with straw, wood chips, and/or other natural materials for a period of time of about four to six weeks. It provides us with the opportunity to nourish new life after we die. It uses significantly less energy than cremation and saves over one metric ton of carbon dioxide per person.

Natural organic reduction is now available in Washington State. PMA has contracted with two companies, Recompose and Return Home, to offer a discounted rate to our members. Additionally, many funeral homes across the state are now offering this service. For more information, please visit the Natural Organic Reduction price list here.

See all PMA Contracted Funeral Homes offering natural organic reduction here.