Embracing Eco-Friendly Farewells: The Interest in Green Burials in San Diego County and Across the US

In a world that increasingly values sustainability and environmental consciousness, it comes as no surprise that our choices are extending even into the realm of the afterlife. San Diego County, despite its commitment to eco-friendly practices, has not really devoted much space to this green option. Green burial, a practice that prioritizes environmental sustainability, is gaining momentum throughout the United States. In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of green burial, its benefits, and the growing trend of green burials.

What Is Green Burial?

A green burial, also known as a natural burial, is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional burial practices. It emphasizes minimal environmental impact, using biodegradable materials, and avoids embalming fluids and non-biodegradable caskets or vaults. Instead of a manicured cemetery, green burial sites are often natural landscapes, such as forests or meadows, where the deceased are interred directly in the earth.

The Benefits of Green Burial

  1. Environmental Conservation: Green burials reduce the ecological footprint of traditional burial practices. By using biodegradable materials and refraining from embalming, they minimize the release of harmful chemicals into the soil.
  2. Preservation of Natural Spaces: Green cemeteries often serve dual purposes, functioning as protected natural areas. This preserves ecosystems, supports biodiversity, and creates tranquil spaces for reflection.
  3. Cost-Effective: Green burials are typically more affordable than traditional burials, as they eliminate the need for expensive caskets, vaults, and embalming services.
  4. Personal Connection: Many people find the idea of returning to the earth in a natural setting more spiritually and emotionally meaningful than conventional burial practices.

The Green Burial Trend in the US

The green burial movement in the United States is experiencing significant growth. Here are some key trends contributing to its popularity:

1. Increasing Environmental Awareness: As environmental concerns become more prominent in our daily lives, individuals are seeking ways to make eco-conscious choices, even in their final arrangements.

2. Millennials and Eco-Friendly Choices: The younger generation, particularly millennials, are known for their commitment to sustainability. This demographic is driving the demand for green burial options.

3. Rise of Green Cemeteries: More cemeteries across the US are embracing green burial sections or transforming into entirely green burial sites. These cemeteries provide a natural, serene environment for eco-conscious individuals.

4. Supportive Legislation: Some states are passing legislation to facilitate green burial practices, making it easier for individuals to choose eco-friendly options.

5. Funeral Industry Adaptation: The funeral industry is evolving to meet the demand for green burials. Funeral homes are offering eco-friendly services and products, catering to changing consumer preferences.

San Diego County’s Green Burial Options

Near San Diego County, while known for its progressive stance on environmental issues, has not seen a surge in green burial options. There are two options currently available that we know about:

  1. Joshua Tree Memorial Park Offering Green Burial
    Joshua Tree Memorial Park has provided a place to honor the accomplishments and legacies of the High Desert communities since 1968. We have made it our mission to honor loved ones in a manner that is fitting and appropriate. Our caring staff of cemetery professionals are dedicated to serving each family’s unique wishes and needs.
  2. Fallbrook Masonic Cemetery
    Open to the Public Since 1918. We are a multicultural cemetery serving all of Northern San Diego in their time of need.

As time goes on, local cemeteries and funeral homes will increasingly offering green burial services to accommodate the preferences of residents who want to minimize their environmental impact even in death.

In the meantime here is the list of options in Southern California:

Location Cemetery Information Green burial plot cost (Single) Contact
San Francisco Bay Area Fernwood Cemetery & Funeral Home GBC certified natural burial & 32-acre wildlife habitat. $10,100 (415) 843-4220
Napa Tulocay Cemetery & Funeral Home Cayetano Natural Burial Ground is a 2-acre section specially designed as a green burial site and is GBC certified. $5,205 (707) 252-4727
San Mateo County Purissima Cemetery Newly established green section added. (609) 892-4429
San Diego Fallbrook Masonic Cemetery A new GBC Hybrid green section. (760) 980-0013
Joshua Tree Joshua Tree Memorial Park Near Joshua Tree National Park. A GBC certified section is set aside for green burials.
Lincoln   Nr. Sacramento Morgan Oaks Eternal Preserve GBC certified 160-acre wildlife preserve featuring 2 hillside gardens. (916) 625-3800
Sacramento Sunset Lawn Cemetery A conventional cemetery that can accommodate a green burial.
Santa Monica Woodlawn Cemetery Eternal Meadow is a naturalistic wildflower meadow garden protecting native wildflowers & grasses of California. $18,358 (310) 458-8717
Los Angeles Hillside Memorial Park Gan Eden is set aside for traditional Jewish burial. A tradition that has always been the embodiment of green burial.
San Luis Obispo San Luis Cemetery Hybrid cemetery offering a designated area for green burials. (805) 543-7053
Goldendale, WA White Eagle Memorial Preserve 1138 acres of wilderness with a certified conservation burial section CBG $3,250


As the green burial trend continues to gain momentum across the United States, more individuals are recognizing the importance of making eco-friendly choices, even in their final resting place. However, there are very few options available in San Diego County. Green burials offer a sustainable and emotionally meaningful alternative to traditional practices, aligning with our growing awareness of environmental conservation. Whether you’re driven by ecological concerns or a desire for a more natural farewell, green burials provide a way to leave a lasting positive impact on the planet.

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