Green Endings

Eco-friendly or “green” disposition is a way of caring for our dead with minimal environmental impact.

The greening of deathcare aims to support the conservation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or preservation of habitat.

Help Bring Green Burial to Ottawa!

More and more people are becoming interested in green burial, but there are relatively few local options available. Increased demand drives potential for more services.

Here are some ways you can support the shift:

  • If you’re planning your own funeral, consider the environmental impact of each choice along the way and choose a funeral home that responds in an appropriate manner and doesn’t try to upsell you on unnecessary items.
  • Visit cemeteries and ask what they offer in terms of eco-friendly disposition options. Ask why they do not offer natural burial and whether or not they would consider it.
  • Remember that the “greenest” choice is not always the least expensive, and that there are other ways to support eco-friendly disposition, including donating in memoriam to local environmental funds.
  • Check out the organizations below to understand what’s already in motion to support more options for eco-friendly disposition in the Ottawa area.
  • If you feel passionate about this cause and have some time on your hands, consider volunteering with us!
Green Burial Ottawa Valley

Green Burial Ottawa Valley is a non-profit co-op corporation working to establish a green burial option for residents of the Ottawa Valley.

Natural Burial Association

The Natural Burial Association is a non-profit, independent of the funeral industry. Their website outlines what’s happening in Ontario.

Green Burial Society of Canada

The Green Burial Society of Canada’s mission is to show how, advocate for, and help make green funeral practices a part of the death care service options for Canadians.

Talk Death Info Hub

Talk Death lists information about options in Canada. They organize green burial cemeteries in Canada into three categories: full or conservation, hybrid & green-friendly.

Alternatives to Embalming

Several methods of disposition are considered to be more eco-friendly or “green” than conventional embalming and burial processes. Here is a brief overview:

Flame Cremation

A common option these days, less expensive than traditional burial, but not necessarily more environmentally conscious. Direct cremation is available locally.

Learn about scattering remains in Ontario.

Alkaline Hydrolysis

A gentle process also referred to as water cremation, resomation, liquifaction, or aquamation. More eco-friendly than flame cremation. Available locally.

Learn more about alkaline hydrolysis.

Natural Organic Reduction

Also referred to as terramation or human composting. Not currently available locally.

Learn more here.

Cryomation

Also referred to as promession; essentially free-drying. Not currently available locally.

Learn more here.

Modified Traditional

Choose environmentally friendly options while utilizing traditional funeral services, such as avoiding use of vaults, casket liners, varnished caskets, and embalming procedures. Consider impact of decisions around travel distances and modes of transportation.

Natural Burial

No embalming. Often buried three feet deep in shroud or biodegradable container with no marker. May or may not be in a designated cemetery. Green Burial Ottawa Valley’s website lists options in closest proximity.

View a local maker’s all natural products here.