As I look back over 2012, one thing is clear: the concept of having a simpler, more environmentally-friendly burial is gaining ground here in Portland.
Last year nearly one-quarter of the burials we conducted at River View were natural burials - a figure that astonishes those in the Green Burial movement nationally (many cemeteries are doing only two or three a year). In 2010, the year that we first made natural burial available, 6.7% of the non-cremated earth burials at River View chose this option. In 2011, that figure tripled to 20%. In 2012 the figure jumped to 23.3%.
In addition to the above statistics for persons who chose natural burial for a loved one who died, that many people and more pre-paid their own funeral and cemetery arrangements last year so that they could be assured of having a natural funeral and natural burial for themselves when they die.
As we continue to develop our dedicated, sustainably-managed natural burial area, we are gratified that so many of our clients are already taking advantage of the unique opportunity River View provides: to be buried without a vault or liner; without embalming; and in some cases, even without a casket - virtually anywhere in the cemetery.
If you are part of a community or professional group that would like to learn more about this growing trend, contact me to arrange a presentation by our Natural Burial Team.