While many of us aim to make eco-friendly choices in our day-to-day lives, we may be unaware that we have the right to greener options for after death arrangements. In fact, throughout most of human history, what we now call green burial was standard practice. Families, faith communities, and most cultures simply cared for their own dead, and 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 again to the people of Washington State.
People's Memorial contracts with three green cemeteries and two funeral homes. Members receive a 15% discount off home funerals, green burial plots, services and merchandise from these providers.
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.
- Plot size: 6’ x 12’
- Burial Cost: $3,040
- Phone (866) 899-5534
- Visit www.farewelltributes.com
Woodlawn Cemetery (Snohomish)
Woodlawn Cemetery was the first in Snohomish County to open a Green Section of their lovely cemetery in 2009. They are certified as a hybrid burial ground by the GBC and are committed to maintaining this area as “green.” Taking a look around, sitting high on a hill one can see eagles and rabbits, a few scattered headstones dating from the 1890s, and the distant swath of the Snohomish River.
With each green burial, a family can select a tree to be donated and planted in the decedent’s name near the grave.
- Plot size: 3’ x 8’
- Burial Cost: $3,000
- Phone (360) 568-5560
- Visit www.woodlawncemeterysnohomish.com
Herland Forest Natural Burial Ground (Wahkiacus)
Herland Forest natural burial cemetery is a non-profit ecological cemetery and Stewardship Forest in south-central Washington. As an outgrowth of the Windward Community's Sustainability Education and Research Center, Herland fosters the values of intergenerational ecological stewardship while providing families the platform to develop and practice hand-crafted ceremonies in a forest nourished by loved ones.
The twenty-acre Herland Forest sits at the edge of the Cascadian wilderness, on the southern slopes of Mt. Adams, near the Klickitat River. High prairies rise up from the Columbia River in the distance, with Mt. Hood standing prominently to the Southwest. It’s a quiet place where wild meets rural, and all are bound to the seasonal cycles of life. Please note that this cemetery is not currently certified by the Green Burial Council.
- Plot size: 20’x 20’
- Burial Cost: $3,000
- Phone (509) 369-2000
- Visit www.herlandforest.org
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. They also plant a tree in honor of each person served through American Forests.
The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial (Seattle)
- Phone (206) 529-3800
- Visit www.funerals.coop
A Sacred Moment (Everett and Seattle)
- Phone (425) 316-8290
- Visit www.asacredmoment.com/
Additional Green Providers in Washington
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.
Burial sites are spacious, about 20 by 20 feet, each comprising a little ecosystem. One can get acquainted with a site while still alive, in order to know what will be nourished after passing on.
- Plot size: 20’ x 20’
- Burial Cost: $3,350
- Phone (206) 383-3285
- Visit www.naturalburialground.org
Cedar Lawn Green Cemetery (Redmond, WA)
A special section of a traditional cemetery in Redmond, WA
- Full Body Plot Cost: $7,500
- Urn Plot Burial Cost: $5,000
- Phone (425) 885-2414
- Visit www.dignitymemorial.com/cedar-lawns-funeral-home
For more information on Green Options, visit our Resources page.