We’re all about taking care of the planet during our lifetime, but it’s equally important to consider how we’ll be leaving it.

Traditional burials actually have a pretty heavy environmental impact. Think about it — a typical cemetery funeral means the body is filled with conserving fluids, put in a brass coffin and then put into a concrete vault. According to an article on SFGate.com, the energy used to make those vaults is equal to more than 1 billion gallons of gasoline. Even cremation uses up a lot of energy.

Basically, death isn’t exactly low-waste, but that may not be the case for long. The popularity of natural burials is on the rise, as many are attracted to an environmental and economical end-of-life option. A natural burial means that the body is prepared without chemical preservatives or disinfectants and is buried in a biodegradable coffin. Many cemeteries are recognizing this demand and sectioning off areas specifically for natural burials.

For earth lovers dedicated to leaving the planet cleaner and greener than when they came in it, natural burials are, literally, the way to go.