Green (or natural) burial means the body is not embalmed or cremated. The body is placed in a biodegradable coffin or shroud and buried so it can decompose and become part of the earth. Shallow graves are dug by hand.
What is a Green Cemetery?
Green cemeteries are not watered, mowed, or fertilized, and no pesticides or herbicides are used. A green cemetery conserves native habitats and resources.
Graves are usually marked with a a boulder, field stones flush to the ground. a living object such as a tree or wildflowers, or a GPS tag. No artificial flowers, balloons or personal objects are left.
There are some natural burial grounds located throughout the United Sates, and with the interest in green funerals rising, more states are approving natural burials.
There are also hybrid cemeteries that offer both traditional burials and green ones.
YOU CAN BE GREEN, EVEN IN A CONVENTIONAL CEMETERY
Refuse embalming. It is not required by law for funerals, and no cemetery should require it for burial.
Select a wood casket, a cardboard box, or a shroud for burial. There are no laws requiring particular types of caskets. If the funeral director or cemetery owner objects, stand firm. The law is on your side.
Don’t use a concrete vault. If the cemetery won’t allow a burial without a vault, pick a concrete grave box that has an open bottom to let the body come in contact with the earth. Or, invert a concrete grave liner and use the lid for something else. Vaults are only used to keep the ground from shifting.
Photo of Natural Burial Park, Cedar Creek, Texas.
Photo © 2011 Larry D. Moore on Wikipedia .