Green burial is exactly as it sounds; burial that is completely at peace with the earth in its biodegradeable elements. With the following statistics regarding current burial practices, a shift toward green burial is vital with the aim of sustainability in mind;
From the Green Burial Council (the Gold Standard in ethical after-death-care);
"Green, or natural burial is a way of caring for the dead with minimal environmental impact that aids in the conservation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or preservation of habitat. Green burial necessitates the use of non-toxic and biodegradable materials, such as caskets, shrouds, and urns."
"We believe that the deathcare industry needs to embrace a new ethic for a new era. Our education and advocacy is helping organizations and individuals within this industry understand the environmental, societal and economic benefits of green burial. We hope to make “green” or “natural” burial the new standard within industry.
"We believe burial is “green” only when it furthers legitimate environmental and societal aims such as protecting worker health, reducing carbon emissions, conserving natural resources, and preserving habitat."
Please visit the Green Burial Council's website and our RESOURCES Page for more information and to find a green burial cemetery near you.
"Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.The way of nature is unchanging. Knowing constancy is insight."
- Lao Tzu
A green burial usually exhibits the following characteristics:
Embalming is not used; instead, the body is preserved in other ways such as cooling, with the use of dry ice
Internment of the body occurs in a biodegradable casket (such as wood, bamboo or cardboard) or shroud
The body and casket or shroud are placed directly into the ground without the use of a vault or grave liner
A green or natural burial ground often requires the use of natural markers including shrubs and trees, or engraved flat stones