Study: North Dakotans not interested in 'Green Burials'
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — When it comes to the idea of being laid to rest, our traditions do not stop at old-fashioned funerals anymore. From being cryogenically frozen to having your remains cremated and launched into space, there are plenty of ways to be remembered in a unique way. And for those who would prefer to take a more environmentally-friendly route when it comes to their departure, Green Burials may be an ideal choice — especially taking into consideration the limited urban burial space available in many areas.

A ‘Green Burial’ is simply a funeral performed without the use of many typical funeral customs — similar to those performed throughout history, and that are still used today in many countries. In these burial practices, the body is often prepared without the embalming or preserving process, allowing it to break down and decompose naturally. In addition, the casket used (if there is one) often consists of biodegradable material, and the individual in question can be identified by a flat, wooden plaque, a carved rock, or trees planted nearby. Some Green Burials can even take place in nature preserves — after which families can receive coordinates to find their loved ones’ resting place without any physical markers at all.

In honor of Memorial Day, LawnLove ranked the US’s Best States for Green Burials based on four main categories — Access to those who can provide these burial services, the Demand for them, the Financial Advantages that come with one, and the number of Burial Locations available. These categories were then split into different metrics and scored, with overall scores calculated based on the average across all factors and categories.

When it comes to North Dakota, the study revealed that we prefer to stick to the traditional funeral methods — as the state rests in the bottom 10 states with the highest demand for Green Burials.

Overall Rank (50=Lowest) State Overall Score Provider Access Rank Burial Locations Rank Financial Advantage Rank Demand Rank
41 Utah 9.39 30 33 43 29
42 Mississippi 9.34 46 (Tie) 42 (Tie) 1 37 (Tie)
43 North Dakota 9.11 39 (Tie) 42 (Tie) 14 47 (Tie)
44 Arkansas 8.72 44 40 (Tie) 12 34 (Tie)
45 Nevada 8.44 39 (Tie) 40 (Tie) 28 34 (Tie)
46 Wyoming 7.52 39 (Tie) 42 (Tie) 31 47 (Tie)
47 Delaware 6.70 46 (Tie) 35 22 42
48 Montana 6.54 43 42 (Tie) 27 45
49 Nebraska 6.53 46 (Tie) 42 (Tie) 17 37 (Tie)
50 Alaska 3.24 46 (Tie) 42 (Tie) 38 47 (Tie)

In terms of specific statistics, a majority of North Dakota’s parameters fall far under the average score — with low demand and the number of available burial locations being the largest contributors to our low placement on the list. The study also identified that of all the states who have searched for terms relating to Green Burials on Google, North Dakota is tied for the lowest number of results — a placement it shares with Alaska, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

Although these natural burials may seem different from what we are used to, it’s important to view them as a celebration of life, in more ways than one. Not only can someone’s legacy be put to rest in a way that honors the cycle of life, but burials like these also help benefit the environment by reducing the amount of space and resources that funeral plots take up. It’s by no means an old concept, but one that is growing in many areas — and perhaps soon, one that will see more widespread appeal as we work in tandem with the world around us.

To view the full results of the study, visit LawnLove’s website here.

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