Nettie Lesser’s grave is tucked in the back of Mount Auburn Cemetery in a quiet area surrounded by trees and birds and a carpet of purple flowers starting to bloom. The plot blends into the scene around it, the only marker a small plaque the size of a hockey puck; you wouldn’t know it was a grave unless you were looking for it.
“She loved Mount Auburn, loved visiting here,” says Mishy Lesser, Nettie’s daughter. “We loved the beech trees, and the cedars, and the wall and the placement of the graves.”
Lesser buried her mother in 2017 in what’s called a “green burial.” The practice has surged in popularity over the past several years, with 25 cemeteries in Massachusetts now offering the services and about 60 cemeteries offering green burial options across New England. Even more cemeteries, such as the municipal grounds in Wellfleet, MA, are considering changing their regulations to allow green burials.
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