Green Burials

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


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

philosophical choice.


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 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

Greener Choices

Even in a conventional

cemetery you can still choose

a greener burial. Use a

green casket or a shroud.

Cremation offers additional

greener options.


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 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

environmental impact.

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.