By DOUG NURSE / www.ajc.com
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The Georgia Cemetery Board has approved an application for a green cemetery in Milton.
The board on Tuesday signed off on a plan by Milton resident Jim Bell, who sought state approval to use 17 acres of pasture as a green burial ground. In a green cemetery, people are interred in a shroud or a biodegradable coffin without embalming, vaults or even tombstones. Graves are marked by a GPS system or flat markers.To motorists passing by, the cemetery would look like an open field.
“We’ve already had a good bit of interest,” Bell said. “It’s less expensive, environmentally sound, and we’ll give part of the proceeds to give to the city to buy more green space.”
Bell said he wanted to find a way to keep the land from being developed.
Traditional burials average $7,500, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. A green burial would cost up to $4,000.
Embalming is not required by law except in some circumstances, such as transporting a body by airline, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.
Bell wrote in an email that he plans to open cthe emetery in January.