‘…Jake had spent his life respecting the Earth, and he didn’t want his final act to harm it. He was also opposed to the death care industry — a $20 billion-a-year business notorious for preying on people at the lowest points in their lives. It’s an industry increasingly controlled by a single entity called Service Corporation International (SCI), a company with 20,000 employees and a market capitalization of $4 billion.
Jake decided on something different: a natural burial. He wanted to go back to the burial traditions humans embraced for thousands of years, before the development of chemical embalming and steel-lined caskets. There would be no formaldehyde, no coffin, just a simple shroud and a hole in ground.”
…Natural burial is perfectly legal in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Jake’s friends and family couldn’t just dig a hole on his land in Port Angeles and leave him there to rest — although they did think about it, Tristan says. Natural burial requires a cemetery willing to take the body, which can be difficult to find. Because so many cemeteries are owned by SCI, a company that pushes clients to take the full package — embalming, concrete-lined vaults, etc. — there are only a handful of natural cemeteries in all of Washington state…’