Trees Not Tombstones:

New Options For End-of-Life

A beautiful forest can be a final resting place that brings comfort to family and friends.

(NAPS)—The vast majority of Americans have not completed their end-of-life planning. In fact, over half of those age 45-plus have done no end-of-life planning at all, according to a recent survey conducted by Better Place Forests, the country’s first sustainable alternative to cemeteries for families that choose cremation.

Better Place Forests hopes the idea of a beautiful, sustainable final resting place will encourage people to create those plans. Instead of tombstones, the company incorporates ashes into the base of beautiful trees in permanently protected forests. The company performs spreading ceremonies in the forest, where families can gather to say goodbye. Currently, there are two forests in California, in Point Arena in Mendocino County and in Santa Cruz, and the company plans to open more across the country.

There is a growing trend toward greener burial options in the United States. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, nearly 54 percent of Americans are considering a green burial and 72 percent of cemeteries report an increased demand for green burials. Thousands of people have already reserved trees for themselves.

“Making plans and establishing guidelines for the end of your life means that loved ones don’t have to guess about your wishes and you can give them the experience you’d like them to have when you pass,” explained Sandy Gibson, CEO of Better Place Forests. “At Better Place Forests, we talk to people every day who find peace in knowing they have created a beautiful experience for their loved ones by selecting a family tree.”

Beyond providing a more beautiful final resting place, choosing a tree in one of these memorial forests means you are leaving a legacy of conservation. The company performs spreading ceremonies in the forest, where families can gather to say goodbye and continue to visit—a feature current cremation options can’t provide. The trusts also actively manage the land to ensure that it’s less susceptible to forest fires. They hire forestry experts to keep the trees healthy and the forests free of invasive species. In addition, more trees are planted in areas in need for every tree a customer chooses.  Thousands of trees have already been planted in forests devastated by the California wildfires. 

Learn More: For further facts, visit


" "