Green Burial

The planet Earth is our home and there is currently great concern for its well-being. And because of this, there is growing interest in the concept of Green Burial as an option for final disposition. 

As an approved Green Burial funeral care provider, we promote the Green Burial Council Standards and Methods. Green Burial packages are listed on our Price List.  In addition, Goes Funeral Care has earned the Green Burial Council's Three-Leaf Rating. 

  • We offer the decedent's family the option of a public viewing without embalming.
  • We offer various Green Burial Council approved burial containers/caskets.
  • We are able to accommodate home vigils without embalming.

  • We offer temporary preservation of a decedent, using non-invasive techniques and materials.

Green Burial is burial that can take place without the use of formaldehyde-based embalming, metal caskets, and concrete burial vaults. It's essentially the way most of humanity has cared for its dead for thousands of years up until the late 19th century. Therefore, Green Burial will be less damaging to our home than conventional embalming and burial.

The Green Burial Council is a nonprofit organization that encourages the use of Green Burial as a means of facilitating the restorative, acquisition and stewardship of natural areas through out the United States. It has been working, since 2005 to make burial sustainable for the planet, meaningful for the families, and economically viable for the provider. They have emerged as the "gold standard" among consumers, land trusts, park service agencies as well the cemetery/funeral profession. 

There are three Green Burial options, per the Green Burial Council, that could exist.

1) The first is a Conservation Burial Ground which is a Green cemetery that involves an established conservation partner, which holds a conservation easement on the property, and is operated according to principles of restoration ecology. 2) The second is a Natural Burial Ground which is a green cemetery that, as with a Conservation Burial Ground, is required to engage in restoration planning and land stewardship. A Natural Burial Ground does not need to have a conservation easement, but must utilize a deed restriction or restrictive covenant to ensure it will only be operated as a green cemetery. 3) The third option is a Hybrid Burial Ground which is a cemetery that operates a facility accommodating both conventional practices as well as green burial. In some instances, a Hybrid Burial Ground simply allows for vault-less burial on its premises. In other instances, a Hybrid Burial Ground may incorporate tenants of a Natural Burial Ground including engaging in sustainable landscape design and natural memorialization. 

Goes Funeral Care was instrumental in the creation of a Hybrid Burial Ground here in Fort Collins. Located at Roselawn Cemetery, this green burial area within the cemetery requests that burial be without embalming, utilize a biodegradable casket or shroud and not use a vault or outer burial container. Roselawn Cemetery is currently not a certified cemetery provider with the Green Burial Council although the city worked with the Council to establish the parameters.  Our hope is that the city will move forward to complete the process to certifiy with the Green Burial Council. Currently, the only certified cemetery with the Green Burial Council is in Crestone, Colorado. One added note, the city of Wellington maintains a more natural cemetery that does not require a vault. This cemetery has traditional burial as well. It is not certified by the Green Burial Council.

Our firm makes available several green burial options and is one of a select group of funeral providers certified by the Green Burial Council. For these arrangements, formaldehyde based embalming is not used and refrigeration is utilized including the use of cold packs. Caskets or alternative containers are made of bio-degradable materials such as pine, cardboard, willow and sea grass or the use of a linen burial shroud is promoted. Public visitations or church funerals are options that may be arranged within the limited time frame green burial allows. Each death and the request families make for arrangements must be reviewed individually to see what would be feasible. Our funeral home, therefore, reserves the right to disallow a public viewing or church funeral with an un-embalmed body under certain circumstances of death.

Goes Funeral Care has always considered the environmental impact of what we do. We have always questioned if an urn purchase was needed or if a casket was necessary or if embalming was truly required. We are currently researching more environmentally safe preserving products from England where traditional formaldehyde based products are close to being outlawed. This does not change our views on Green Burial and services we can offer a family without embalming, we are just looking at alternatives for certain situations. We have been keeping an eye on the emissions of our crematory from a polluting point of view as well as what carbon foot print we are leaving behind with this method of final disposition. To offset our carbon foot print, Goes Funeral Care buys wind credits and helps reforest the earth through the local nonprofit organization, Trees Water and People, Inc.

Is the future Green Burial? At this point in time, it would appear to be a very viable option and one that we, as residents of Earth, might seriously consider. If you are interested in this concept, please call us to discuss what options might exist for you. In addition, if you are interested in a home funeral and then burial or cremation, or burial on their land in Larimer County or to have more intimate involvement at one's death, Goes Funeral Care is here is help and support this process. We feel you, the family, directs us and we assist you. We want to help you create a meaningful funeral experience and one that helps with healing.

Green Burial Council - Vision

We believe end-of-life rituals are meant to let us honor the dead, heal the living and invite in the divine.

We believe burial is "Green" only when it furthers legitimate environmental aims such as protecting worker health, reducing carbon emissions, conserving natural resources, and preserving habitat.

We believe the field of funeral service needs to embrace a new ethic for new era.

We believe death can and should connect to life.

What We Do

The GBC has adopted an integrative, four-pronged approach for making available more ecologically responsible death care.

First, we rely on certifiable standards for our approved providers; these standards are evolving as we come to better understand issues ranging from the science behind green burial to legal/compliance matters.

Second, we inform the public about the need for environmentally sustainable funeral/cemetery/cremation options, in part to help create economic incentives for the death care industry.

Third, we ensure that funeral directors, cemeterians, and product manufacturers are made aware of our most pressing environmental concerns and can competently serve families seeking greener options.

And finally, we provide new ways of bringing together conservation entities with representatives from the field of funeral service to create burial/scattering programs that aid in the restoration, acquisition and/or stewardship of natural areas.

Our Mission and Philosophy:

Our goal is to provide innovative, compassionate and meaningful offerings to enrich and personalize the memorialization of a loved one.

PASSAGES believes in the power of ritual to transform and comfort.

At Death—the final rite of passage—we use ritual to celebrate, honor, and safeguard the memory of a life.

By providing compassionate offerings for personal expression, PASSAGES hopes to help  mark the passing of a special soul.