Natural burial will appeal to environmentalists, those wishing for simpler funeral choices, or as an alternative to cremation.
What is Green Burial?
So what is green burial? Webster’s online dictionary defines the word “green” (as it pertains to products and services) as “not harmful to the environment.” We all know the definition of “burial.” Moreover, we understand that the attitudes of the living are reflected after their death. Therefore, green burial is generally any form of burial/interment that is not harmful to the environment. This can include the burial of cremated remains in a biodegradable urn or burial of an unembalmed body in an environmentally friendly shroud or casket. (This latter method of disposition is increasing in popularity, by the way. In Great Britain, there are now more than 200 green burial/woodland burial sites in operation, up from only 17 in 1996.) Some families chose to have the body refrigerated until the burial instead of embalming
As part of our commitment to assist families in selecting a Green or as we like to say Greener Burial or Cremation we are proud to have on site a large refrigeration unit, we can shelter the deceased unembalmed in a refrigerated state until all necessary arrangements and paperwork are completed.
Learn more at http://www.agreenerfuneral.org/
GREEN IS FOR FUNERALS TOO
The environmentally-conscious "green" lifestyle
may be one of the most beneficial
movements in the world today, yet most
people only associate green with living. For
people who want to preserve the environment,
the growing practice of green funerals
and burials presents a way to make the end
of life more meaningful too.
More than half of Americans now say that they
are concerned about the environment. 21%
of Americans over the age of 50 would prefer
an eco-friendly, end-of-life ritual, according
to a 2007 AARP national research report. For
these people, green represents an ethical and
WHAT IS A GREEN FUNERAL?
Webster's online dictionary defines the word "green" (as it pertains
to products and services) as "not harmful to the environment." A
green funeral is generally any end-of-life ritual that is as harmless
as possible for the environment, This can include burial in a green
or "natural" cemetery.
At death - the final rite of passage - we use ritual to celebrate,
honor and preserve the memory of a life. Many environmentally conscious
families today seek a mix of traditional and green
funeral options. "A Greener Funeral" (and its companion Web
guide aGreenerFuneral.org) have been created to help you learn
more about the subject and plan a greener funeral for yourself or
a loved one.Traditional but with
Even in a conventional
cemetery you can still choose
a greener burial. Use a
green casket or a shroud.
Cremation offers additional
A CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE
The modern green funeral, also known as a "natural funeral" or
"eco-funeral," is old and new at the same time. End-of-life rituals,
including funerals and memorial services, are among the most
significant practices of every culture on earth. These rituals have
evolved over thousands of years of human history. Many of the
practices associated with greener funerals, such as shrouds, have
long been in use by some groups.
Greener funeral practices are often compatible with the traditions
of the major religions. Judaism and Islam, for example, have
traditionally called for shrouds or simple wooden caskets and
no embalming. Hinduism and Buddhism allow cremation, while
traditional Catholicism, Judaism and Islam do not. Consult with
your spiritual leader to see which greener funeral rituals honor
your religious traditionGreen and Greener
At aGreenerFuneral.org we believe
that green is in the eye of the beholder.
For some, green means riding a
bicycle, eating locally-grown organic
vegetables and living off the electrical
grid. For others green is driving less,
using less electricity and taking cloth
bags to the grocery store. That's why
we use the terms "green"and "greener"
in this guide. We think that, big step or
little step, whatever you do to preserve
and protect our environment is a good
thing in life, and in death.
The essence of a greener
funeral is reducing its
Many people find that in
doing so they also make
the funeral more natural
and meaningful for the
Among the options for
a greener funeral is a
quick or "direct" burial
without a viewing or
visitation service. This
eliminates the need for
preserving the body,
but the burial may still
be accompanied by
a funeral or memorial
service. If you wish a
viewing, the body can
be refrigerated instead of embalmed with toxic chemicals to
preserve the body until burial.
Also, the use of biodegradable funeral products (caskets,
shrouds, urns) made of sustainable, eco-friendly materials
minimizes the impact on the planetTO EMBALM OR NOT
Embalming, a relatively new practice in America, became common
during the Civil War when it was used to preserve the bodies of
dead soldiers so that they could be buried at homes far from the
battlefield. The practice became
well-known when President
Abraham Lincoln's body was
embalmed for its formal trip from
Washington, D.C. to Springfield,
Illinois for burial.
Embalming has become such
a common part of American
funerals that many people
assume that it is required by law.
However, no state or province in
North America automatically demands the embalming of bodies.
When preservation of the body is specified by state ordinance,
refrigeration, chilling or dry ice can often be substituted for
embalming. Special circumstances such as an extended time
between death and burial, and transportation of remains on
commercial airline flights may necessitate embalming.
Choosing not to embalm is a significant way to have a greener
funeral. Embalming fluid is usually comprised of the carcinogenic
chemical formaldehyde, which poses health risks to those who work
with it. While an embalmed body at a funeral does not present a
serious risk to the mourners, doing without embalming is another
way to help eliminate the unnecessary use of harsh chemicals
that are not eco-friendly. For those who choose embalming, there
are now several formaldehyde-free embalming fluids that will
adequately preserve the body for up to several weeks.