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 
http://www.agreenerfuneral.org/

Green 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 philosophical choice.

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 at 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 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.

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 tradition.


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 tradition. 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 mourners.

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. If refrigeration isn’t available, ice or dry ice can be used 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 planet.