It seems like this medium is many times writing about the need for more permanent memorialization options to be available for our death care consumers. It also seems like we spend a lot of time writing about new start-ups in the death care profession that are hoping to catch the new wave of consumer thinking. Today, we are going to tell you about one new venture that we believe checks both of those boxes. The venture is Better Place Forests. You can read an article about the business here.
In essence, according to the above mentioned article in Fast Company, Better Place Forests is a built and opened business meant for the permanent memorialization of cremated remains. The company presently owns 7 potential properties located in the western United States and recently opened their first location in Mendicino, California. Each property will have a visitor center. From the visitor center walking paths will spread out through the forest enabling a visitor to visit their loved one’s final resting place.
What they actually do is charge for the right to place cremated remains mixed with local soil and natural supplements beneath a chosen tree in a 20 acre forest. Depending on where the tree is in the forest the price for such a memorialization is $2,900 and up. Right now, the Mendicino location is the only location that is open, but trees can also be purchased and reserved at the company’s second location in Santa Cruz, California. The forests are placed into land trusts that are meant to keep them open and operating perpetually.
Again, according to the Fast Company article, the founders of Better Place Forests have raised over $12 million in capital for their venture. The article ends with the final paragraph, “. . . the start-up has clearly tapped into a desire for a greener, more personal kind of funeral. Thousands of families have already reserved trees.”
Funeral Director Daily take: In a changing demographic era of our country that has polls showing that less than 40% of consumers believe in religious ceremonies at the time of their death and that 64% of Democratic Presidential primary watchers believe that climate and the environment is the number one issue facing our country, we see this alternative getting legs under it.
Think of it. . . increased cremation and now a place – like cemeteries of old – where today’s consumer will feel comfortable placing the remains of loved ones in an environmentally friendly way and place. An interesting venture. . . and one whose time may have come.