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Cynthia Beal


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Typical questions include 1) Where can I go for a natural burial? 2) What types of coffins, urns and other "packaging" are best for natural decomposition? 3)How do I plan for a natural funeral? 4) Do I have to be embalmed? and other questions like this. I'm available to answer general consumer questions about natural burial, home and natural funerals, and sustainable cemetery management. I answer questions about general cemetery matters as well as natural burial, and offer suggestions about how to deal with remains, cremated or buried, interment rights, rules for cemeteries and plot owners, covering conventional as well as alternative options. I also answer questions from professionals, home funeral guides, and family members about how to manage a natural funeral either in the mortuary or at the home, how to best use natural coffins and urns, and how to convert cemeteries to natural, sustainable practices. I will answer questions from volunteer cemetery managers about how to offer natural burial in their rural, Pioneer, or non-profit cemeteries. If I don't know an answer I'll refer the questioner to someone who does. DISCLAIMER -- I am a certified pre-need sales person in the State of Oregon. I am not a licensed attorney, tax adviser, estate planner, funeral director, embalmer, accountant, public official, or any other professional that may be associated with issues the question brings up and any answers I provide should not be relied upon if such expertise is required by the asker (as per the All Expert suggestion). I provide my own personal opinions, based on my experience in business, Nature and its systems, and with human beings after 55 years of life on the planet.

Experience in the area

Natural burial and sustainable cemetery management experience: I'm the founder of the Natural Burial Company and a member of the Cemetery Association of Oregon. Over 25 years in the natural products industry, and over a decade of running the Natural Burial Company, founded in 2004. I've done some consulting for existing and start-up natural cemetery operations. I'm currently an instructor at Oregon State University, facilitating the creation of a program in sustainable cemetery management and stimulating research in cemetery-oriented processes and functions, and I own two historic cemeteries the feature natural burial, based in Oregon.


American Cemetery Magazine; Funeral Business Advisor; Real Goods Source Book; American Funeral Director Magazine, etc.


There is no degree in natural burials or funerals, and no accredited education provided for sustainable cemetery management. We're developing a program at Oregon State University but it hasn't fully launched yet.

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Laura02/22/16101010Thank you for answering my question the .....
Beverly10/19/15101010Thank you so much.
Robert07/19/15101010Excellent answer! Thank you very much!
louise01/07/15101010thank you for this informative response.

Recent Answers from Cynthia Beal

2016-02-17 Burial on my property and deeds:

HI Laura,    To your questions:    1) Can you be buried on your own private property in South Carolina? This is completely up to the State AND the County/City you live in because it falls under your local

2016-01-09 Memorial Forest:

Hi Joaney,    Because cremated remains are pretty easy to bury just about anywhere that you've got permission to do so, there are a lot of places where you can do that that aren't officially cemeteries

2015-10-12 green burial around Dallas, Texas:

Hi Beverly,    As far as a "green" burial goes, I'm always at a loss to answer that question because everyone's definition of the word 'green' is different, and my "green" is a lot stricter than most!

2015-07-17 Be-A-Tree-friendly cemeteries in BC Canada?:

Hi Robert,    There's at least one Canadian cemetery listed on the Natural End Map that offers natural burial - www.naturalendmap.com. Whether or not they've worked out their contracts to accommodate a

2015-05-05 burial sites:

Hi there,    Thanks for your question, Nancy.    1) Burying cremated remains in a forest is really easy so you're in luck - you can bury cremated remains anywhere on any private property, with permission


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