Green Burial Blog
help us spread the word about green burial so we all share in protecting our environment.
It can seem like there are a lot of regulations about how someone can be buried when they die, from the use of embalming fluids to working with a funeral home to what the body needs to be buried in and where. And while there are some regulations that funeral homes, cemeteries, and local municipalities have, people often have more freedom than they believe when it comes to their end-of-life burial decisions.
A common question that people ask is, “can a body be buried without a casket?” A casket is one of the more expensive components of a traditional burial, so it’s no wonder that people are looking for ways to avoid this expense. The good news is that there are alternative burial options, including a green or natural burial. So in short, yes, you can be buried without a casket. However, there are a few considerations.
State’s Laws and Cemetery Regulations
While green burials are allowed in all states, each state has slightly different requirements. In most cases, it’s the specific cemetery that has regulations that need to be followed, especially those pertaining to concrete vaults. A burial vault is a container typically made of concrete that is placed in the ground and houses the casket. The purpose of a vault is to ensure that the ground above the plot doesn’t settle as time goes by. It also protects the structure of the casket from dirt and animals and when a grave needs to be excavated nearby.
If you wish to be buried in a traditional cemetery, they may require a vault, but it is possible to be placed directly into the vault rather than a casket. However, this isn’t a common practice as it makes it difficult to have a viewing service and burial ceremony. If you do wish to have a viewing service and want to be buried in a cemetery, but do not want the expense of a typical casket, another option is to use another material for a green casket, such as hemp, cork, wicker, or cardboard. There are no requirements pertaining to the type of material a casket is made of.
Working With Your Funeral Home
The funeral home you choose will provide a wide variety of options that you can consider, and they will do what they can to ensure your wishes are met. This includes both traditional casket burials and green burials.
Alternative Burial Options If You Don’t Want a Casket
Like mentioned above, there is an option to be buried in a variety of materials. As each cemetery may have its own rules, you will need to work with them to determine what your options are.
A burial method that is growing in popularity is a green or natural burial. With a green burial, the body is wrapped in a biodegradable material and placed directly into the ground. A body can be buried on private property as well, but always check with your local zoning laws and it is still required that you work with a funeral home.
EverAfterly Offers Green Burial Services
There are many green burial grounds across the country as well, including Northern California. EverAfterly offers several natural burial locations, including Whispering Pines in the Sierra Mountains, Howell Mountain in Napa Valley, and Morgan Oaks in Placer County. Our compassionate team can ensure that your burial wishes are met, whether that’s a green burial or cremation. Learn more about the burial services we offer, and get in touch with us today if you have any questions.