A Montgomery County cemetery becomes the first nonsectarian one in the Capital District to offer natural burial. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, the Fultonville Cemetery is proving you can help protect the environment, even after you're long gone.
FULTONVILLE, N.Y. -- "This is the first nonsectarian natural burial ground in the Capital District," said Ryan Weitz.
It's a practice that's been around for hundreds of years.
"The body is untreated, simply cleaned," said Weitz.
And in June, the Town Board approved Fultonville Cemetery Sexton Ryan Weitz's proposal to offer 600 natural burial lots in this wooded area of the cemetery.
"We will simply dig a hole in dirt and the body will be directly buried in the dirt, whether the family chooses a natural shroud or pine casket or whatever biodegradable container they choose," Weitz said.
Weitz says the benefits are endless, both for the environment and for the deceased family's wallet.
Weitz said, "Every year in this country, we bury over 800,000 gallons of embalming fluid, as well 1.6 million tons of concrete and over a hundred thousand tons of steel."
Unless you choose to be cremated. The energy it takes to cremate one body, Weitz says, you could drive 4,800 miles on. And each body contributes one to six grams of mercury to air and water pollution.
Weitz said, "The typical funerals cost between$ 5,000 and $20,000. A natural burial is anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000."
You might be wondering about gravestones. No cut, machined or polished memorials will be allowed but wooden ones, or natural stones, can be used.
"It's a way to make your last final gesture on Earth a gift to the Earth, a gift to humanity."
Helping to keep it beautiful, long after you're gone.