I realize that most people don themselves in green clothing during this time of the year.
It’s common to see green everywhere you look because of people celebrating their Irish heritage and especially around St. Patrick’s Day. However, it might come as a surprise that when I ask for something green and Irish, something truly original pops into mind. One might instead, point towards a well known home or business in Ireland.
There are in fact quite a few famous or historic places in Ireland that are covered in green and this is why they come to the forefront of local minds. In fact, one place is very unique, that even their name says “green.” This company is the Green Graveyard Company and they have several locations throughout Ireland. Their specific goal is to bring something different to the meaning of a graveyard via ecology.
Ominous tombstones and large statues that one may come to recognize a graveyard by are no where in sight for eco burials. Also, oftentimes old graveyards have big iron-wrought fences or enclosures that make their presence quite obvious. In the instance of the Green Graveyard Company however, their idea was to go along with the concept of natural burial grounds and to bring their existence into Ireland. And by that, they decided to create graveyards that looked nothing like what you would expect. These sights have a dual purpose which is not only to lay to rest loved ones, but also to build a place where natural elements are enhanced and where life can be encouraged to grow for future generations.
Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.com.
Each grave is dotted with a very simple marker and even a native Irish tree is planted on the spot. This helps to encourage Irish plant life by planting indigenous trees. Family, friends or visitors are encouraged to come and enjoy the scenery and this can even lighten the stigma of visiting a traditional graveyard which can appear scary or overwhelming.
This company has only been operating for a little under a decade, yet their plan is to continue to create more of these natural burial grounds throughout the republic. Perhaps, the eco-funeral brainchild came from graveyards taking up too much space in urban areas and people saw a way to change that. They realized that there is no need to compete with the environment when it comes to burials. Instead, they saw a way to make a burial place one that aids the atmosphere. Here are some facts and details about the benefits of eco or green burials.
It seems that they surely had the right idea. I would think that most people probably want to know that their passing will go towards helping future generations in some way. In a simple and small change, these natural graveyards are a rebirth. I imagine the thought that produced them went something like, “we know people will die and need a place to rest, so we might as well make their burial places ones that continue to grow and prosper long after death, rather than as places where growth and life seem to stop.”