Farewell Options

The Home Funeral Alliance

Did you know that Home Funerals are allowed and legal in every state? It’s true… And all funerals used to be held in homes, where family and friends prepared and cared for their people after-death until burial or other after-death arrangements were complete.

This website is a wonderful resource for information on what home funerals entail, such as guidelines and requirements, as well as connecting you to a home funeral guide or officiant in your state or local region.

Green Burial Council

Many people are not aware that natural burials, or green burials, are allowed in every state though not all states have providers who offer natural options. This website is an excellent resource for green or natural burial information.

A green or natural burial is when burial takes place without embalming, traditional caskets or vaults – the body is usually wrapped in biodegradable shroud, covering or casket and placed directly into the ground for natural decomposition. In this way, our bodies return to the earth without preservatives and become of the earth again.

There are three types of Green Burials – hybrid (a section in a traditional cemetery for green burials), natural (a cemetery dedicated to natural burials only) and conservation (a land trust or preserve that is dedicated to natural burials).

According to the Green Burial Council, burials in the United States alone use about nearly 5 million gallons of embalming fluid, tens of millions of feet of hard wood, millions of tons of concrete and tens of thousands of tons of metals each year. In addition to the cost of these items, they also pose potential environments issues as materials begin to break down, or don’t break down, over time.

The Marana Mortuary & Cemetery is the only option for hybrid green burial services in southern AZ. Neighboring states do offer green burial options in natural cemeteries and land preserves, and if you are interested, I will assist in connecting you to a resource that may be equipped to provide the type of natural burial you hope to have.


Aquamation is legal in Arizona though today is only available for our beloved pets.

Aquamation—also known as alkaline hydrolysis —is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cremation. It’s a gentle, water-based process that changes the remains of our people and our pets to dust/ash, which are then returned to the chosen loved-one. It’s similar to what would happen naturally though much faster and in a controlled setting.

Though it’s not an option that’s available in our local communities today, it is possible to access providers in New Mexico, California, Utah and Colorado. Most of us don’t realize how damaging traditional methods of burial are to the earth. Compared to traditional cremation, aquamation releases 1/3 less greenhouse gases and utilizes only 1/7 of the energy. Check out this website for more information, and send me a note if you have questions or for assistance in finding a provider that’s accessible for you or a loved one.

Human Composting

Recompose uses a process called natural organic reduction to transform human remains into soil. This soil can then be used to regenerate the earth that supports us our whole lives.

Earth Funeral offers a similar option in parts of southern Arizona. Check the zip codes on their website for services in your area.

See what Recompose is all about with Caitlin Dougherty of Orderofthegooddeath.com and @AskAMortician