Earlier this summer, I wrote a blog on the green burial movement (or lack thereof) in New Hampshire. While Phaneuf Funeral Homes has offered a very low cost green burial package for some time, we have had no takers. Why not? Well until now, there were no true green burials cemetery sites in New Hampshire. Nearly every cemetery requires some sort of outer burial container to encase the casket. All cemeteries maintain their properties (or try to) by cutting the grass, filling in ground indentations and trimming trees and shrubbery. But in September, the trustees of Richmond Cemetery, located in Richmond, NH, a small town tucked away in the southwest corner of the state, opened a green burial section in its cemetery. The cemetery trustees allocated up to 100 grave spaces for green burials. You need not be a resident of Richmond to purchase a cemetery lot. But embalming the body is not allowed as is the use of a casket with metal. And no vaults or headstones are permitted. Graves may be marked only by using indigenous field stone. To maintain the back to nature theme, the town will only mow the grass a few times a year. While green does not necessarily mean inexpensive, this cemetery is very good news for New Hampshire residents who now have a true green alternative.
For more information about the Richmond cemetery, pricing and making arrangements for a green burial, please call me at the funeral home. And for anyone interested in learning more about green burial and other eco-friendly funeral alternatives, Phaneuf will be hosting a free green burial seminar this spring (around Arbor Day) entitled “Dying to be Green”. If you would like more informaton about the seminar or would like to reserve a spot, please sign up for our monthly e-newsletter on our website.