Green burial has a much smaller impact on the environment than traditional casket burial, and is intended to provide environmental and ecological benefits over time.
Types of Green Burial
One example of a green burial involves preparing the body for burial without embalming fluid or other ecologically harmful chemicals, using a biodegradable casket made from natural materials like willow, bamboo, or paper, and burying the casket in a land preservation site. Trees, shrubs and flowers are planted nearby and over time the body becomes part of the green environment.
Another green burial option is offered by a company called Eternal Reefs, which creates living memorials that also help to restore fragile reef ecosystems. A person’s cremated remains are mixed with the reef material and then placed in the ocean. This artificial reef attracts marine life and becomes a new reef over time, as well as a “permanent living memorial” to the deceased.
Green burial was common among U.S. pioneers, who were often buried directly into the ground when caskets weren’t available, but green burial is not common in the U.S. today.
The new, ecologically motivated practice of green burial is more popular in Britain than the United States. Currently there are approximately 215 green burial sites in Britain, and more are planned.
Learn More about Green Burial Options