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Natural Burial and Direct Cremation: Two Affordable Alternatives

By: Daniela Alonso

What is Natural Burial (Green Burial)?

There are three standards that define a natural burial: there can be no embalming, no vaults, and all burial containers or shrouds must be biodegradable.

Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery (PCCC)

The Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery is a nonprofit community cemetery located in Gainesville. They have worked with the Alachua Conservation Trust to help protect the land used for the conservation cemetery from development and keep it open to the public.

Planning Natural Burial with PCCC

  • The first step in planning natural burial with PCCC is to fill out their burial preference form and have it witnessed. Filling out this form and sending it back to PCCC acts like making a reservation for a space in the cemetery.

  • While PCCC cannot take payment before death there are multiple ways to ensure payment, such as creating a separate savings account or working with a funeral home that includes the PCCC burial fee within their service fees. However, the most effective way is to fill out their preference form and make sure the people who are going to be taking care of your funeral and burial have a copy of it.

Costs for Natural Burial with PCCC:

  • The costs are $2000 for natural burial and $650 for cremation. Additionally, PCCC will work with any funeral homes. However, if you are uncertain of which funeral homes will work with PCCC, you may reach out to them and they can provide you with a list of funeral homes they have worked with in the past.

  • If this is something that interests you, the PCCC website has more information about how to start the planning process. When it comes to natural burials, planning is crucial. Here is the link where you can find answers to any questions you may have regarding the process.

More specifics on the burial process

  • The process of natural burial can be a very personal one. PCCC specifically allows loved ones to be as involved as they would like in the burial process.

  • Containers for burial are biodegradable and can be made by loved ones if they wish. being buried. Some examples of biodegradable containers include unfinished wooden caskets and quilts. Specific gravesite selection is not available; however, in the preference form, there is a space to indicate a general environment for the gravesite such as meadows or forest. Lastly, each burial with PCCC includes a hand-stamped 2” brass disk to mark the gravesite with GPS coordinates that allow you to look up a name and be given directions to their site.

The First Burial at PCCC:

“Kathy’s burial at PCCC was beautiful and amazing. She selected her own spot before dying and chose a magnolia tree to be planted at her grave (symbolic of her love for nature!).”

~ Freddie Johnson, Executive Director of Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery


Affordable Cremation in Gainesville

What is a Direct Cremation?

Direct Cremation”, sometimes called “Simple Cremation” or “Immediate Cremation” is

when the cremation is performed soon after death, without a viewing, visitation, or funeral service of any kind.

What are some Direct Cremation options in Gainesville and North Central Florida?

“Cremations Only”

Cremations Only was started by Wayne and Dorothy Selph “to offer affordable service to families in their greatest time of need”. They are based out of Gainesville and work closely with local hospice centers and hospitals such as Haven Hospice and UF Health. Additionally, they offer their services throughout North Central Florida.


  • Direct Cremation: $850

The Selphs’ mission is to provide support to grieving families without pressuring them to make decisions during emotional times.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, their website is:

“A Cremation: Affordable Alternative”

A Cremation: Affordable Alternative is based in Gainesville and their intent is “to be as helpful as possible to families who want only cremation and at a lower cost.”

Their services include:

  • Transport of your loved one’s bodily remains into their care

  • Generation of a death certificate and delivery to doctor for completion; obtaining a permit from the State and requesting cremation approval from the medical examiner (some counties do charge for cremation approval)

  • Alternative cremation container for the cremation process

  • Refrigeration and cremation process


  • Simple cremation: $695

For more information or if you have any questions for them specifically, their website is:



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