Traditional Burial Alternatives: A Different Choice


In many parts of the world, including here in the United States, a traditional funeral includes a viewing of the deceased, followed by a service, then an in-earth or above ground burial at a cemetery. If a cremation was chosen, then the ashes would be interred, versus the deceased's body. This, of course, is a very basic outline, and there are many variations of this tradition.

However, other lovely options are becoming increasingly popular. Here are five alternative burial choices for those that are looking something different.

Sea Burial

Burial at Sea

A long time, memorable tradition of an alternative funeral is the sea burial. At R.W. Baker we coordinate directly with New England Burials At Sea. Here is what they have to say:

Burials at sea offer many meaningful ways to celebrate the lives of our loved ones. We offer attended or unattended year round memorial cruises for traditional ash scatterings or complete full body (casket free) eco-friendly sea burials per USCG regulations, presided over by the captain, your clergy or representative of your choosing (Funeral directors are required for full body burials, not for ash scatterings). Serving all faiths with personalized services.

To learn the details of a sea burial visit New England Burials at Sea or Contact Us at R.W. Baker.

Image via Forest Rest Natural Cemetery in Virginia

Natural Burial

If you are environmentally conscious, then a natural burial may be the right choice for you. The Green Burial Council describes a natural burial as this:

Green, or natural burial is a way of caring for the dead with minimal environmental impact that aids in the conservation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or preservation of habitat. Green burial necessitates the use of non-toxic and biodegradable materials, such as caskets, shrouds, and urns.

Essentially, your body is wrapped in a shroud, or biodegradable casket and allowed to decompose naturally into the Earth.

The movement is definitely gaining momentum with 93 registered green burial cemeteries and memorial woodlands in the United States, two of which are close by in Virginia.

Many of the cemeteries also double as a Natural Preserve.

Learn more at The Green Burial Council.

Memorial Reef
Memorial Reef

Memorial Reefs

Ocean lovers can spend their eternal rest helping to preserve the marine environment by becoming part of a Memorial Reef. tells us:

Eternal Reefs are permanent living legacies that memorialize the passing of a loved one by helping to preserve and protect the marine environment for the benefit of future generations. They combine a cremation urn, ash scattering, and burial at sea into one meaningful, permanent environmental tribute to life. It is a designed reef made of environmentally-safe cast concrete.

There are several reefs located off the East and West Coast of the United States. Some you can even scuba dive at like the Neptune Memorial Reef near Miami, Florida.

Diamonds Anyone?

Cremation Diamonds via

Jewelry and gem lovers can turn their remains into beautiful diamonds! says,

Cremation diamonds provide a way to embrace your loved ones memory each and every day and quickly become a family heirloom. Cremation urns can still be used to hold the remaining ashes. The cremation diamond is the most unique and timeless cremation jewelry tribute available.

A quick Google search turns up a wealth of information about cremation diamonds. If you would prefer more personal guidance, our funeral specialists at R.W. Baker Funeral Home and Crematory can also help you with selecting memorial jewelry.

Get Launched Into Space
Space Burial

Yes, You Can Get Launched Into Space

Space enthusiasts can be launched into Earth?s orbit, get sent to the Moon or out into deep space.  There is also an option for 'space missions'where the cremains will return to Earth! Celestis, a company that specializes in this process, tells us they help families honor the memory of loved ones through unique, post-cremation memorial spaceflights.

Visit Celestis to find out how you can one day return to the stars.

No matter what your end of life choices are, R.W. Baker can help you with planning a meaningful and memorable service for your loved one or help you to preplan your own arrangements. Contact us today.

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