Green burial options get the thumbs up in Florida

Memorial reefs third most popular method

A study conducted by a life insurance agency says that many Floridians prefer an eco-friendly final resting place over more standard methods.

Their most pressing reason: Cost, according to Choice Mutual Insurance Agency, which specializes in covering burial expenses nationwide and conducts annual studies on burial trends.

Environmental impact is also of significant concern, with 12 percent of those surveyed prioritizing it, closely followed by the issue of cemetery space, which concerns 11 percent of respondents.

“We’re observing a significant shift in end-of-life preferences as people seek to leave a lasting, positive impact on the planet,” said Anthony Martin, company CEO. “It’s about connecting with the earth and fulfilling a legacy that honors both environmental values and personal beliefs.”

Traditional funerals typically cost between $7,000 to $12,000 including casket, service fees, burial vault, gravesite, headstones and funeral ceremonies and celebrations. Many people rely on insurance and personal funds to cover costs, according to the study.

The idea that a simpler more natural process could also cost less is an appealing option, participates indicated. How much of a savings depends on individual factors.

Green burials may save money by removing embalming and pricy casket costs. But other costs, depending on options and services requested, may eat up the difference.

Also complicating the equation can be finding green burial sites and providers. The nonprofit Green Burial Council lists three green cemeteries in Florida in Lake Worth, Gainesville and Brooksville, which is located about 45 miles north of Tampa.

About 6,000 people were surveyed in the nationwide study with 19 percent overall saying that would opt for nontraditional methods.

When it comes to green burials, celebrity endorsement may help seal the deal.

Roughly a third of Floridians polled say such backing could sway their decision toward alternative methods.

Discussions about funeral plans, especially with elder family members, remain a sensitive subject, with 39 percent feeling uneasy about it.

But 72 percent would back a relative’s decision to choose an alternative method, although nine percent might dissuade them and 19 percent would remain neutral.