Alternative Options

Body and Organ Donation

Northern Illinois University
Olson Funeral and Cremation Services is proud to support our neighboring university and it's students in their anatomical studies program. On the Department of Biological Sciences website,, there is a link that directs a user to further information and forms for donating one's body directly to NIU. Bodies donated to NIU directly support the undergraduate and graduate courses, and the M.S. graduate program in Human Anatomical Sciences. Olson's will facilitate all of the transportation and paperwork to make this an easy process for the family of the donor. Cremated remains are returned to the family after studies are completed.

Gift of Hope
Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is a not-for-profit organ procurement organization that coordinates organ and tissue donation and provides public education on donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana. As one of 58 OPOs that make up the nation’s donation system, we work with 180 hospitals and serve 12 million people in our donation service area. Since 1987, we have saved the lives of nearly 20,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients through our efforts.

Green Burial

Natural Land Institute
The Natural Land Institute is restoring prairies, woodlands and wetlands to this beautiful land west of Rockton along Raccoon Creek and the Rock and Pecatonica rivers. In the summer, blossoms of wild bergamot, sunflowers and gray-headed coneflower create a purple and yellow ocean of color stretching from the scenic bluff in the north to the rivers in the south. Wildlife species, including migrating waterfowl and songbirds, are returning in abundance. NLI purchased the 721-acre preserve in 2000 using a generous gift left to us in Carl Nygrens will.

Earth Biodegradable Urns
The Passages® Collection of Earthurn biodegradable urns features a unique assortment of sustainably crafted, handmade paper urns. The durable and attractive Earthurns are produced from the bark of the mulberry tree using an ancient technique that allows the bark of the tree to be harvested without destroying the tree. In fact, the tree continues to thrive and grow. The resulting textured paper is dried in the sun before being used to create the urns.

A Greener Funeral (Olson is the only certified provider in the area)
Environmentally-conscious “green” living may be one of the most beneficial movements in the world today, yet most people associate green only with living. For people who want to preserve the environment, green funerals and green burials provide a way to make the end of life more meaningful too. For many people, a greener funeral represents an ethical as well as philosophical choice. For others, it is a way to find value and significance in a simpler funeral process.

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