Green coffins made of ordinary wood, willow and even cardboard are acceptable – and desirable – in most green cemeteries. There are many new products destined for this type of landfill, including biodegradable containers made of paper, cardboard, willow, algae or bamboo that can be degraded with low environmental impact. The reason why others choose a green burial is in the name: it is ecological. Green burials remove both embalming chemicals and the cement, steel, or other superfluous non-biodegradable materials that conventional burials bring into the earth, and don`t have the carbon footprint of cremation equivalent to a 500-mile road trip. Each cemetery has its own guidelines. For example, many green cemeteries do not use heavy machinery or equipment to dig the burial site. Instead, the graves are excavated by hand. But that`s not necessarily the rule. In addition, some natural cemeteries have very strict restrictions on the decorations allowed on the site, while others encourage a unique décor throughout the grounds. Unlike traditional cemeteries, many natural burial sites allow flowers and other plants to be grown directly on the grave. Only a few states are considering changing their funeral policies. Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a bill to allow alkaline hydrolysis, an environmentally friendly form of fluid combustion that uses a pressurized solution to quickly break down a body.
But Green Bural operators say they have seen little action in terms of policy regarding their cemeteries. The Green Burial Council`s website has information, a list of providers, and additional resources for those interested in a green burial. The decision to opt for a green burial is up to you and your family, and the choice is often influenced by cost. Whether you want a natural funeral or a more traditional ceremony, it`s important to understand the costs associated with each service. If you`re concerned about the high cost of funerals, you`re not alone. Many of our Simple Pine Box caskets, although intended for natural burial, are enclosed in concrete vaults in conventional cemeteries. Individuals often want to stay on their family properties and close to loved ones, but still want a “greener” burial. The 100 trees we plant for every casket we make help offset the carbon footprint of the vault in four years. Environmental protection must not stop at the end of life. Many people have started looking at their last desires through a green lens and take the opportunity to protect the environment when they die. This natural approach to funerals has led to an increase in green burial cemeteries, green funeral coffins and even green funeral ceremonies such as a tree burial. In fact, a 2017 survey by the National Funeral Directors Association found that more than half of respondents (53.8%) expressed their intention for environmentally friendly funeral options.
Green burial is designed to have minimal impact on the environment and preserve natural resources. Also called natural burial or ecological burial, green burial emphasizes simplicity and sustainability. In a typical green burial, the body is not cremated, prepared with chemicals, or buried in a concrete vault. It is simply placed in a biodegradable container and buried in a burial site to completely decompose and return to nature. Embalming has also come a long way over the past two decades. There are several “green” embalming methods on the market that do not contain dangerously toxic formaldehyde. Ask your funeral director about your state`s specific laws and available alternatives. “Most people know what green burial is,” said Lee Webster, who directs education for the Green Burial Council. “They just don`t know how to do it. “Growth has been slow, slow, but we`re seeing the bump now,” said Brian Flowers, funeral coordinator at Moles Farewell Tributes, which organizes green burials as well as more conventional options in Washington state.
Meanwhile, the so-called dying care industry has begun to offer options with different “shades of green” – such as willow coffins – urns meant to grow in trees and an organic mixture that reduces the toxicity of cremated remains and allows for safe mixing in the soil. Green burials are legal in all 50 states, but each has its own rules about where and how they can be performed. A local funeral director can give you all the advice you need for an eco-friendly service. Natural burial promotes the restoration of poor land and allows for long-term reuse of land. Natural burial sections generally do not allow vertical monuments. Individual graves are marked with a flush mark on the head of the body. The marks can be a natural stone or a plaque, although they are not usually set with concrete. Some natural burial sites choose not to have physical markers, but rather to display GPS-recorded grave locations. To preserve the pristine natural landscape and protect native plants and wildlife, most green cemeteries limit personal planting and commemorative decorations such as potted flowers, wreaths, flags, chimes, and balloons. Green landfills remove much of this waste by omitting almost all of these materials; Most bodies are simply wrapped in shrouds made of a biodegradable material such as cotton and placed in the ground.
And while cremations often have a reputation for being an eco-friendly option, they tend to have an oversized carbon footprint. Green graves are divided into 3 categories: Hybrid (H) – a standard cemetery that has adopted a section as a designated green burial area, Natural Burial Ground (NB) – a designated green cemetery, and Conservation Burial Ground (CBG) – a designated and protected nature reserve where green burials are performed to preserve (and restore) natural habitat.