For families choosing cremation, it’s important for you to know we offer only the highest level of care for your loved one. Cremation allows for more choices than many families realize. We offer the widest range of service options and product options in the area. In addition, our Cremation Safeguards ensure peace of mind, when you need it most. Call today to talk with one of our caring staff at (207) 773-6511 .
What is a Green Burial Service
A green burial service, or natural burial, is a funeral that does not use embalming fluids to preserve the body. Green services are designed to return bodies to the earth as naturally as possible without toxic chemicals. To accommodate this practice, there are many items to consider including caskets, liners, vaults, or grave liners to keep the casket protected from the surrounding soil. There are also options for urns if you would like to bury your loved one's ashes instead of their full body. Many green burials take place in woodland burial grounds where plots are kept open for eco-burials. If you live near a forested area and want your loved one buried deep within rather than in a cemetery plot, then you can ask that their urn be placed in a biodegradable box with their ashes.
Green Burial Ideas
Green burial ideas are becoming more popular as people look for ways to reduce their environmental impact. There are many options for green burials, from using biodegradable materials to choosing a natural burial ground. Here are some examples of green burial ideas to consider:
- Wooden Casket - A wooden casket is a good green burial idea. You can also use biodegradable materials to make your own or purchase one that's already made. The important thing is to ensure the material will decompose quickly and not contribute to landfills for decades like concrete and metal do.
- Cardboard Containers - One popular option is to use a cardboard container that can be buried in the ground. The cardboard will decompose over time, and eventually, the container will disappear completely.
- Biodegradable Urns - A biodegradable urn is a great way to create space for green burial. These urns are made from natural materials, such as wood or cornstarch, which decompose into the soil over time.
- Body Composting - The idea behind this practice is that the nutrients in the decomposing body will then be available to feed plants and other organisms nearby, which can benefit both people and animals living on Earth. This natural fertilizer also helps reduce pollution by reducing our need for artificial fertilizers made from fossil fuels.
- Water Cremation/Aquamation - Alkaline hydrolysis, also referred to as aquamation, water cremation, or green cremation, is a natural and gentle process that uses alkaline solutions to break down the body into its constituent parts. These solutions are then cleaned and sanitized before being returned to the earth.
- Shrouds - One example of a green burial option is using a shroud made of natural fibers like cotton or linen. The shroud will break down naturally after the burial, and it's a more eco-friendly option than using a traditional coffin.
- Sky Burial - the body is placed on a mountaintop to be consumed by vultures or other scavenging animals. This process is considered more environmentally friendly than traditional burials and cremations because it does not involve the use of resources such as fossil fuels or concrete.
- Sea Burial - This involves burying the deceased in a biodegradable casket and weighting it down so that it sinks to the bottom of the ocean. As the casket decomposes, it will release its nutrients into the water and help to sustain marine life.
- Tree Pods/Capsula Mundi - Another option is Capsula Mundi, which is a burial urn that doubles as a seed pod. After the person has been buried, the urn will decompose and the seeds will grow, giving life back to the earth.
Which States Allow Green Burials
If you want a green burial as your final send-off, you may be wondering which states allow such burials. More than half of all U.S. states permit green burials either by statute or by regulation. However, the laws do vary from state to state, and some require that those who choose it pay more money than what might be offered at a traditional funeral home and cemetery plot. You can find out about individual requirements by researching specific states. There is no specific Federal or State law that allows for green burials, but there are a few states that have laws or regulations on green burials.
Oregon was the first state to pass a law regulating green burials, and their law stipulates that only untreated natural materials can be used in a green burial. In New York, no specific laws are regulating green burials, but the Department of Environmental Conservation has released guidelines for green burials which recommend using untreated natural materials and prohibiting embalming.
Why More Americans Are Considering ‘Green’ Funerals
As the funeral industry continues to grow, so do the options available to those who want to plan their final farewells. A green funeral is one of those options that are gaining in popularity as more Americans are turning away from traditional services.
According to Forbes, half of the American adults say they are less likely to have a religious service when they die, which means many are opting for alternative ways of saying goodbye. Most people know that green funerals include environmentally friendly treatments for corpses, but there are other factors involved too - including what happens after death has occurred. Green funerals typically involve embalming minimally if at all, using biodegradable materials and non-toxic methods whenever possible, avoiding harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, and recycling/reusing items that can't be composted.
Many people who prefer green funerals choose cremation over burial because it's more eco-friendly. According to Green Burial Council, cremations emit far less carbon dioxide than traditional burials, since the body doesn't have to be transported for burial or embalmed before being placed in a coffin. And ashes can often be buried onsite or scattered without digging up land - which is especially beneficial since only 4% of land in the US is suited for traditional burials (according to statistics from CBS News).
As Americans turn away from traditional funeral practices, they're beginning to consider how their choices may impact the environment after death. If you or your loved one want to communicate your dedication to conservation in your farewell, we have many options available to you when it comes to green funerals and burials.
A growing number of people are choosing green burial over traditional burial for a variety of reasons, including ethics, financial limitations, or environmental consciousness. If the idea appeals to you or your loved one, take this quiz along with our list of frequently asked questions about green burials.
Despite its name, a green burial is not only beneficial for the environment - it's also much friendlier on your wallet! With an initial Green Burial Council certified burial starting around $2,000 compared with an average cost of more than $10,000 for standard services in most parts of the United States (according to the National Funeral Directors Association), green burial becomes an increasingly attractive option when you consider the long-term cost.
Reasons for Choosing a Green Burial
- Simplicity - Green burial is simplicity itself. There are no elaborate ceremonies or embalming processes. The body is simply buried in a biodegradable shroud or casket made from natural materials such as bamboo, wicker, or cotton. As the body decomposes, it nourishes the earth and helps to create new life.
- Lower cost - For one, it's less expensive than a traditional burial. Secondly, the environmental benefits of going green are significant - from reducing your carbon footprint to preserving natural resources for future generations. Finally, being able to leave behind a smaller ecological footprint can provide some peace of mind in this day and age when we're so concerned about global warming and sustainability.
- Eliminating hazardous chemicals - The decision to have a green burial is an environmentally conscious one. It eliminates the use of hazardous chemicals which can be harmful to both the environment and those who come into contact with it after death. Not only this, but it also reduces our carbon footprint by eliminating any kind of transportation needed for a traditional burial process.
- Conserving natural resources - Green burial is a form of environmentally responsible, socially just, and economically viable choice for disposition. It conserves natural resources by reducing or eliminating the need to manufacture caskets, create embalming fluids, transport bodies long distances (and their associated emissions), buy expensive metal vaults, or even provide traditional ground burials in some cases. It also reduces our carbon footprint because there's no need for cremation which releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
- Preserving natural areas - The choice of green burial is an environmentally friendly one that preserves a natural landscape and improves the overall vegetation. Green burials involve using either natural or artificial grasses to cover the ground over which the body is carried at its funeral service, with trees and plants placed around them for privacy.
At Conroy-Tully Walker, we believe your passion for caring for the environment should not just be how you live your daily life, but part of your eternal legacy.
If you or your loved one want to communicate your dedication to conservation in your farewell, we have many options available to you when it comes to green funerals and burials. We suggest families visit Green Burial Council and A Greener Funeral. Both of these websites are a wonderful resource for learning more about green burial. In a nutshell, the green burial choice is the simpler, more earth-friendly option.
We invite you to call our knowledgeable staff members to learn how we can help you plan a green Celebration of Life service.