What is a green burial?
Green burial, or natural burial, ensures that the burial site remains as natural as possible in all respects. Interment of the remains is done in a bio-degradable casket, shroud, or a favorite blanket. The body is prepared for burial without chemical preservatives and is buried in a simple shroud or biodegradable casket that might be made from locally harvested wood, wicker or even recycled paper. No embalming fluid or no concrete vaults. This modern natural burial is an environmentally sustainable alternative to existing funeral practices where the body is returned to the earth to decompose naturally and be recycled into new life. A natural burial ground often uses grave markers that don’t intrude on the landscape. These natural markers can include shrubs and trees, an engraved flat stone native to the area or centralized memorial structure set within the emerging forest that provides places for visitors to sit. As in all cemeteries, there are careful records kept of the exact location of each interment, often using modern survey techniques such as GIS (geographic information system). Planting native trees, shrubs and flowers on or near the grave establishes a living memorial and helps form a protected wildlife preserve. A completed natural burial preserve is a green place with trees, grasses, and wildflowers, which in turn bring birds and other wildlife to the area.