WHO AND WHAT IS ECO-BURIAL INC?
Eco-Burial Inc. is a CANADIAN ecology sector business founded on the belief that current “end of life” processes are neither sustainable, nor affordable, for much of the world’s population. We offer a PEOPLE and PLANET FIRST, Earth friendly alternative; a practical option for interment of cremated remains that will compliment your ecological concerns, and place you in harmony with Mother Nature forever. Where there is need for change, we intend be the instrument of that change.
WHAT IS AN ECOLOGICALLY FRIENDLY BURIAL?
There are many thoughts and definitions. Ours support the immediacy of a reunion with Mother Nature, in a manner that will not leave a wound upon her. We offer the very real prospect of a long term legacy in purified air, water and wildlife habitat renewal that will benefit your family and future generations. In death, as in life, you now have the opportunity of meaningful presence within a living, breathing natural ecosystem. The forest monument will always speak to the fact that you were here, and that you cared enough to make a difference.
WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS IN DEALING WITH CREMATED REMAINS?
Cremated human remains are often called ashes. They bear moral and legal obligations of treatment with dignity and respect. Eco-Burial presently offers in-ground interment within the forest sanctuary, supported by digital and hard copy documents, and with on site plot markers and maps. Permanent cemetery designation ensures that future generations may visit, honour and research those who committed to a new world ideal of People and Planet First.
WHO ARE ECO-BURIAL’S CLIENTS?
Our clients come from all walks of life; they may have stepped lightly upon the earth with compassion, or have come to the realization near life’s end that they should have done better. They understand the legacy of being eco-conscious in death. What they leave in a final covenant with Mother Nature will live on long after time has erased their names.
WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Mother Earth is in crisis, as is every living creature. Scientists warn that we are entering another great extinction event, the sixth in world history and that it is human driven. Levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide now approach 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. The Planet will survive, with or without us, so our greatest concerns must be for our families, and for other life forms depending on us to make a difference. As a species, we have no guarantee of long term survival unless there are many actions of concern, and an ecologically friendly burial is but one of them. If we are in harmony with Mother Nature, in life and in death, the accumulation of many small acts of caring will make a positive difference. Our survival depends on how we respond and go forward.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR DOING NOTHING?
The task is daunting. The facts are overwhelming. The potential for a 50% loss of known species in the next 50 to 100 years is almost incomprehensible. The easy course is to do nothing; to wait for someone else to act. Scientific research indicates that the tropical ecosystems we’ve historically depended on to purify our air, have become increasingly sensitive to temperature changes, and that a small increase in tropical temperature may lead to additional yearly releases of billions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. The World Health Organization’s “2010 Global Burden of Disease” said that outdoor air pollution was annually contributing to 3.2 million premature deaths worldwide and that number is now upgraded to 7 million. Oceans are more acidic and less life sustaining. Permafrost is thawing with potential for a catastrophic methane release and ancient ice is melting. Scientists use wording like “feedback loops”, “tipping points” and “runaway global warming” intentionally, to warn us of the consequences of not changing our ways. The implications for doing nothing may be another great extinction that includes us. The “us” is most likely defined as our children or grandchildren, and we will be called upon to explain how we destroyed a world that should have held so much promise for them. This is our time for great visions and new ideas!
WHAT OTHER CONSIDERATIONS FAVOUR ECOLOGICALLY FRIENDLY BURIAL?
We are running out of space and cannot afford to have thousands of hectares / acres of valuable urban landscape reserved for granite monuments. Early cemeteries are often national treasures and monuments to the birth of nations, but many are now fully occupied or nearly so. Treasure the time spent walking among magnificent statues, marvel at the skill of the stone carvers, but know that time has passed. In many of these cemeteries, the remains are stacked three and four deep in individual plots, and with even this, space is all but consumed and the costs are prohibitive. In a generation, we’ve become an urbanized and secular population whose rural connectivity is lost. We no longer have the spiritual support that our parents and grandparents took for granted, nor the free community burial sites found near rural houses of worship. Arable farmland that surrounded our cities is now mostly consumed by urban sprawl. Developers are unlikely to favour burial sites over condos and town houses. We are obliged to consider new ideas and to improve our processes.
WHY IS ECO-BURIAL INC. OFFERING ONLY THE CREMATED REMAINS OPTION?
Other options were considered within the realm of “green” and “natural” burial. They were not a match for the Nature’s Monument interment model that Eco-Burial elects to provide. We have a clearly defined Canadian mandate under the Cemeteries Companies Act (PNB). Worldwide, populations are consistently embracing cremation over full body burial, and to be supportive of this new reality, we must consider the transportability of cremated remains to a place of ecologically beneficial interment. We’ve become a very mobile society, with a new global connectivity, and are now comfortable with moving beyond the old family plot.
Scientific research tells us that when using the natural forest environment as a place of interment, the monument of trees will absorb a large volume of carbon dioxide over a short period of time. This quickly compensates for the effects of greenhouse gases produced by the cremation process. Recent technological improvements have reduced the volume of gases produced and modern scrubbers capture the mercury found in old dental amalgam. This all leads very quickly to a carbon neutral and ecologically positive outcome.
It is nearly impossible to inter full body remains in an existing forest, without causing root damage and tree mortality. Trees have extensive root system growing just beneath the forest floor. Because trees are the lungs of the world, any process that could damage or kill them, would wholly defeat the purpose. “Natural” or “Green” burial full body interment in open fields or on sparsely treed lots may be a good fit for those not favouring cremation. They cannot however, generate the carbon capture benefit of a growing forest, do not distance you from restrictive and costly urban influences, and will not provide immediate wildlife habitat relief. Newly planted saplings require nearly a generation of growth before they begin to make a carbon capture impact. Their wellbeing must be actively managed, as they are at significant risk for browse damage by wildlife and rodents.
WHAT DO THE STATISTICS TELL US ABOUT CREMATION?
Funerals are changing. Cremation is the growth sector for the “end of life” industry, with nearly fifty percent of American, Canadian and European populations now selecting it over full body burial. In some areas of urban concentration, the rate is much higher.
Contemporary Australian statistics indicate their average cremated male generates 110 pounds / 50 kilograms of CO2, with other nationalities claiming varying amounts. Statistics for females were not found, but can be expected to be of lesser impact. The reality is likely dependent on the objectivity, age of the study, technology and sample culture.
Cremation generates green house gases which impact climatic warming, so we must consider how best to deal with it. Trees are the lungs of the world and natural champions when it comes to capturing carbon. They take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, thereby creating the ultimate win / win situation. Statistics show that a tree in the forest will consistently absorb 7 – 13 pounds / 3 – 6 kilograms of carbon per year (up to 1000 kilograms or 2200 pounds over the tree’s lifetime) and that a “young forest” in the 40 – 60 year age class has come into its prime performance period for carbon capture. Our Acadian forest is most favourably placed through species diversity and age to be an extremely effective instrument of carbon capture, and of renewal, for centuries to come.
Your legacy will be a monument of TREES and ACADIAN FOREST, which recovers your final carbon emission over a short period of time. Beyond that, you’ve ensured that a forest will continue to generate oxygen and filter fresh water forever. A large tree can generate a one day supply of oxygen for up to four people and can discharge several hundred litres of water into the air every day. In CANADA, regulated by the Cemetery Companies Act (PNB), this burial site is designated a protected space forever. This means full protection from logging, hunting and commercial development.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE ECO-BURIAL SITE?
EBI’s Nature’s Monument Sanctuary is a conservation cemetery with a naturally growing and evolving forest ecosystem. We are in an Acadian forest region that is defined by the species of trees growing here. If you are familiar with the terms Appalachian and Boreal forest, they are put in context with the Acadian designation in this manner. The Appalachian forest reaches eastward toward us from the United States of America, and to our north, the Boreal forests flourish. The Acadian forest found in Maritime Canada is a transitional eco-region of great diversity, supporting the species of both forests that border it. The Acadian forest is young and fortuitously positioned to become an enduring instrument of superior carbon capture. As a carbon sink of great species diversity, it is equally well placed to respond to the rigors of climate change. The reality is that our planet will continue to grow warmer, and with that, the Acadian forest will become home to more Appalachian species while some Boreal species migrate northward. In the Acadian forest you can now find sugar and other maple varieties, yellow and white birch, white and black ash, aspen, poplar, beech, red and bur oak, white elm, ironwood, butternut (white walnut), basswood, several spruce varieties, eastern hemlock, tamarack, balsam fir, eastern white cedar, alder and numerous pines. Most of these species are presently growing on our site, and others will be planted if an open space allows. There is also great diversity in life expectancy among species, with some having a relatively short 80 year maximum, while others like the eastern hemlock are expected to live up to 400 years, and within this Acadian forest, the all species life span average is about 160 years. As with all living things, the great cycle of life, death and renewal goes forward.
WILL THE NATURE’S MONUMENT SANCTUARY SERVE OTHER FUNCTIONS?
This site opened with 3 hectares / 7.5 acres of forested land and is adjacent to an additional 55 hectares / 140 acres of available expansion. Burial sites automatically become hunting prohibited areas and a further 30 hectares / 75 acres of surrounding forest is now designated as protected as well. This provides for an immediately viable wildlife refuge in which you may find populations of moose, white-tailed deer, fox, lynx, bobcat, black bear, porcupine, beaver, raccoon, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, etc. Birds are a diverse group including owls, eagles, osprey, hawks, songbirds, woodpeckers, jays, grouse, woodcock, pheasant and wild turkeys. The amphibian and reptile groups include salamanders, frogs, toads, turtles, and small non-poisonous snakes. Natural forest ecosystems are also home to countless tiny life forms, many too small to be seen until your search them out.
Areas protected from timber harvesting over many generations, recover their “old growth” characteristics and become superior wildlife habitat. Natural spring water gushes from a notch higher up in the hills, encouraging wildlife to remain within the protection of the sanctuary.
HOW WILL MY ECO-BURIAL SITE BE MARKED?
EBI uses both global positioning records and permanent individual site markers to guarantee secure access to your site. All site information is maintained in both digital and ledger forms, and maps are posted at the entrance area. The physical plot marker is anchored deeply below ground and bears an individual number which is unique to you. These pins are small and unobtrusive, but require in excess of 500 kilograms / 1100 pounds of extraction force to be withdrawn, thereby assuring superior vandal proofing. Pins are fixed in the center of each plot. To maintain a pattern of continuity, the first interment is to north side of the pin and the second is to the south of it.
ARE THERE EXCEPTIONS TO THE INTERMENT LIMIT OF AN INDIVIDUAL PLOT?
The Interment Rights Certificate owner, or his / her Executor or legal heirs, may upon written request, and with supporting documents, exceed the two interments per plot limit, where there is an at-need situation for children or grand children of the Certificate owner(s). Exception will be granted for those of an age up to and including twenty-one (21) years. Exception interments will be placed to the east and west sides of the plot marker, thereby preserving space for the original Certificate owner(s). Standard interment fees apply. INFORMATION: Terms and Conditions.
WHAT IS THE POLICY ON GRAVESTONE MONUMENTS AND OTHER FIXTURES?
Traditionally manufactured headstones are not an option in this eco-sensitive burial site. For those desiring more than the numbered pin system, locally sourced natural stones are available. Stones are graded by largest engravable facet: small (4 to 7 inches – 10 to 18 cm.), medium (8 to 10 inches – 20 to 25 cm.) and large (11 –to 12 inches – 28 to 31 cm.). They will accommodate basic engraved information of name, life dates and a small faith symbol (optional). Stones are placed by Eco-Burial staff. Certificate owners acknowledge and agree that these markers are not permanently attached to a site and that wind, weather and wildlife may cause movement. They are natural products that will degrade and return to nature over time. INFORMATION: Products and Services.
Artificial flowers and landscaping plants and shrubs are not complimentary to a natural setting. Where open forest meadows occur, material indigenous to the area will be planted.
ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS ON THE CREMAINS CONTAINER?
Metal, concrete, plastic and fibreglass containers are not permitted. There are many excellent natural and biodegradable options. Containers must be constructed of a scan-able material that will allow customs officials to ascertain the safety and appropriateness of the contents being shipped.
ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS ON THE SURFACE SCATTERING OF MY CREMATED REMAINS?
Some of the regulations associated with “end of life” service are best described as outdated, and are currently under review. Surface scattering of cremated remains is within this realm, as legislation has not kept pace with how contemporary society deals with death. EBI cannot act as your agent at this time, where the request stipulates above ground scattering. However, by utilizing biodegradable urns, dispersal / scattering is achieved below the forest floor, as is the co-mingling of remains through close proximity placement (available upon request) within the individual plot. Families, Friends and Executors are welcome to surface scatter within designated areas. Memorial plaques will be posted nearby.
EBI acknowledges scattering to be an ecologically responsible and respectful act and advocates for it within the Nature’s Monument Sanctuary. Ultimately, when performed here, it will ensure the preservation of family history through permanent genealogical records, guarantee future research options, and grant dignity and protection forever.
HOW WILL A SITE BE DISIGNATED AND RESERVED FOR ME?
You will receive an Interment Rights Certificate. It reserves a numbered site which is exclusive to your contract. INFORMATION: Terms and Conditions.
WHAT IS THE PAYMENT PROCESS?
Eco-Burial Inc. currently offers worldwide credit card payment options. Payment by cheque and money order is available through pre-arranged contact only. INFORMATION: Products and Services – Terms and Conditions.
Prices are subject to change without notice. Pre-arranged, fully paid products and services contract(s) are guaranteed at original contracted prices forever.
Where pre-arrangement includes purchase of the stone site marker, EBI provides complementary storage with guaranteed placement following interment.
WHEN ARE INTERMENTS SCHEDULED?
Interments are scheduled weekly where season and weather permit. Cremated remains received during winter months (mid November to April) are placed within a secure vault. Family members or Executors may also elect to hold the remains within their control during this period. INFORMATION: Products and Services.
HOW ARE INTERMENTS CONDUCTED?
EBI retains sole responsibility for conducting all interments within the Sanctuary. Interments are scheduled with advanced notice where families and friends have indicated a desire to attend. Faith practitioners, families and friends are welcome to participate in the placing of the urn, under the guidance of Eco-Burial employees or designated agents. Participants will be entering a natural forest and must ensure their own personal safety by wearing proper hiking footwear and protective clothing.
WHAT RELIGIOUS DENOMONATIONS ARE REPRESENTED HERE?
This Sanctuary is considered non-denominational. All are welcome. We accommodate requests for family, friends and companion groupings, as well as those for congregation by faith. A grouping is defined as an allocation of individual plots within a specified area, and does not by proximity or association, constitute a community or family cemetery. Each individual access is subject to conveyance by the instrument of the Interment Rights Certificate.
MAY I HAVE AN EXPRESSION OF RELIGIOUS FAITH AT THE TIME OF MY INTERMENT?
Interment Rights Certificate holders may have through pre-arrangement, a committal expression of faith to accompany their interment where practitioners are available. Faith support practitioners are subject to time and travel considerations, for which compensation is appropriate (Sales Agreement). Alternatively, you may elect to have a symbolic committal expression at your celebration of life service. INFORMATION: Products and Services.
WHAT IS THE OPTIONS IN SHIPPING MY CREMATED REMAINS TO ECO-BURIAL INC. FOR INTERMENT?
Shipping with delivery services that include acceptance signature (offered by most postal services) is the recommended option. A copy of the death and cremation certificates must be included for our records, and may be requested by customs officials. Cremated remains (ashes) are not considered a hazardous material by postal services and may be shipped without addition certification to a Canadian destination. All shipments and communication must include the identification number issued with the Interment Rights Certificate.
WHAT IS THE MAILING AND SHIPPING DESTINATION FOR ECO-BURIAL INC.?
Please use P.O. Box 3033, Station “B”, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada E3A 5G7. Where shipping services may require a physical address destination (some courier companies don’t have access to postal boxes), please advise and one will be provided.
WHEN MAY I VISIT THE INTERMENT SITE?
Weather and season permitting, visit on a daily basis between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM (Atlantic Standard) local time. Access is not available during the winter period (previously defined) as wind, weather and snow do not permit safe egress from the roadway.
You will be entering a forest where proper hiking gear is required and it is your personal responsibility and legal obligation to ensure your own safety and that of your attending party members at all times. You may encounter burial site markers at any time and in any place. You are asked to avoid disturbing them.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE PERPETUAL CARE IN THE ECO BURIAL CONTEXT?
Perpetual care for burial in a forested ecosystem is very different from that of the traditional cemetery care process. A natural forest does not require constant manicuring, watering, fertilization, and weed control. The traditional application of pesticides and herbicides is unnecessary and there are no chemical runoff contaminants to endanger fish and wildlife.
The provision for care in perpetuity with regard to burial sites in Canada is dictated by legislation. In our natural environment, perpetual care is directed toward maintaining cemetery infrastructure; pathways, minimal remediation (a natural hazard like a wind damaged tree may require attention), signage, peaceful spaces for pause and reflection, all in concert with the aspects of wildlife refuge and carbon mitigation. Perpetuity / Forever is an interesting concept and of significant difficulty to grasp. This sanctuary sprang to life as the glaciers of the last ice age retreated over 13,000 years ago. A secure trust into which “care funds” are invested is intended to have very long term benefits.
ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP: SUPPORT WITHOUT BUYING THE INTERMENT RIGHTS CERTIFICATE?
EBI is a for profit corporation, founded on the philosophy of PEOPLE and PLANET FIRST. We maintain forests and lands beyond the burial sanctuaries, dedicated to preserving wildlife habitat and refuge. They are supported through EBI and private funding and compliment our natural forests carbon capture efforts. Stewardship support extends the land mass, protects more wildlife habitat and expands the global benefit of purified air and water. Trees are the sustainers of life; the benefits of pure air and water are welcomed throughout the world. EBI appreciates your support. STEWARDSHIP options are found on the PRODUCTS & SERVICES / SALES AGREEMENT pages. SUPPORTERS will be annually recognized in a HONOUR ROLL attached to our website (unless anonymity is requested).
DOES ECO-BURIAL OFFER PET BURIAL OPTIONS?
Nature’s Monument 1 is restricted to human remains interment only. Pets may find secure sanctuary in a presently un-forested site separate from NMS1, but within the area overlooking the great valley. Trees indigenous to the Acadian forest will be planted to create similar natural habitat, wildlife refuge and carbon capture benefits. Pet services accessed by prearranged contact only. Email: email@example.com