Green Burial Blog
help us spread the word about green burial so we all share in protecting our environment.
If you are going through the estate planning process or a loved one has passed away, you may be looking into what options are available regarding the burial of your body or the deceased. While the most popular option is a traditional burial that involves working with a funeral home, a casket, burial vault, and cemetery, more and more people are choosing a green burial.
What is a Green Burial?
The purpose of a green burial is to help preserve the environment, avoiding the use of non-renewable resources. A green burial typically consists of the body being wrapped in a biodegradable shroud and being placed directly into the ground where it can naturally decompose over time.
Another option that is more eco-friendly than a traditional burial is being cremated. While the furnace that is used for cremation is typically fueled by natural gas, there are generally no embalming fluids used (although you can be embalmed and then cremated in order to provide a funeral service with a viewing). The cremated remains can then be interred into the ground rather than using a casket, or they can simply be scattered into the wind or even out at sea.
Do All States Allow Green Burials?
The good news is that all states allow green burials. However, depending on the state you live in, you may want to check local zoning regulations before burying a body on private property. In addition, if the deceased body needs to be transported from one state to another, there may be local laws that regulate what needs to be done to the body before it is transported.
Who Can Prepare Burial Plans?
Because a funeral service doesn’t need to be involved with green burials, anyone can prepare the body for burial and put together plans for the burial service. However, healthcare facilities often require the person who has been designated the Durable Power of Attorney to handle funeral or burial arrangements. The designated Durable Power of Attorney can complete any paperwork and documentation. They will request the death certificate and prepare for transportation of the body.
Religious Burial Customs
Even though traditional burials are a common practice for a majority of people, one factor that can play a part in the decision is their religion. The Jewish culture has always had green burials for their deceased and the body is wrapped in a white shroud (tachrichim) and placed in a pine coffin. In the Islam culture, the body is buried as quickly as possible after death so there is no wake or viewing service. In both the Jewish and Islam faith, it is important to wash the body thoroughly. With Christian and Catholic faiths, traditional burials are more common. At one point cremations were not allowed in the Christian faith, but that rule has become more relaxed.
Choose EverAfterly For Green Burials in Northern California
If you live in the Northern California area, EverAfterly offers natural burial plots that are preserved through restorative land management techniques. We are committed to helping families ensure that their burial wishes are met, whether you want to be cremated or want a traditional green burial where there are no chemicals used and only renewable, biodegradable materials are used.
Located in California, we offer three different green burial preserves, including Whispering Pines in the Sierra Mountains, Howell Mountain in Napa Valley, and Morgan Oaks in Placer County.. We have years of experience helping families plan for a green burial and can help with cremation services, scattering ashes at sea, and traditional natural burials. The plots have GPS coordinates so loved ones can find exactly where your body has been placed, and we offer a variety of natural urns for interring ashes.
To help protect our environment for future generations, reach out to the EverAfterly team to learn more about green burial laws or regulations in California.
When most people think about how they want to be buried, the most popular method today is a traditional burial with a casket and cemetery. However, cremation is becoming more popular, and green burials are becoming more well-known and common. We all know what a traditional burial service consists of, but you may not know as much about cremation and green burial services.
What is a Green Burial?
Before we dive too deep into what the service involves and what options are available, let’s take a brief look at what a green burial is. With a green burial, the emphasis is on protecting the environment and choosing a burial practice that is sustainable. Rather than using embalming fluids to preserve the body, a casket, burial vault, headstone, and traditional cemetery, a green burial focuses on simplicity. Minimal materials are used and those that are used are biodegradable and natural. The body is simply wrapped in a shroud and placed directly into the ground where it will naturally decompose over time. In addition, the burial plot is located on grounds that are often naturally preserved rather than using a cemetery that requires various resources to maintain.
Green Burial Service Options
Although it’s not quite as environmentally friendly as a natural burial (allowing the body to naturally decompose in the ground), cremation is still a more sustainable and eco-friendly option than a traditional burial. With a cremation, a crematory uses a special type of furnace called a retort that reduces the body to its most basic elements. The cremated remains are then placed in an urn. The urn can be interred in a variety of places, including a cemetery, an urn garden, a columbarium, on private property, or in a green burial plot. You can learn more about cremation burial services here.
Another service option for cremated remains is to scatter the ashes. While this method can be difficult for remaining loved ones who wish to have a specific place for them to visit the deceased, it allows the body’s remains to be truly set free. Cremated ashes can be scattered at sea, in a forest, an open field, or somewhere that holds special meaning for the deceased. There are few official laws regulating where ashes can be scattered unless you plan to scatter ashes at sea. Ashes can even be scattered in National parks, although some require permission. It’s generally a good idea to request permission if you wish to scatter the ashes on private land.
Eternal Memorial Tree
If you truly want to help protect the environment through your death, there is an option to grow a tree, plant, or flowers from the cremated remains. With a living urn, your remains will be placed in the container and you can choose your favorite tree or plant to grow. The living urn container is 100% biodegradable and comes with a special additive to offset high pH and sodium levels in ash so a healthy tree can thrive. The memory of your loved one will live on in the life of a tree that gives back to the environment. Learn more about the eternal memorial tree here.
Traditional Green Burial Interment
With cremation, the retort is typically fueled with natural gas. If you want a natural burial and to avoid any chemicals or gas completely, you might consider a traditional green burial, which is when your body is allowed to naturally decompose in the ground. Laws pertaining to burying a body on private property vary by state, or you can work directly with a green burial service. When you choose a green burial and work directly with a service, there is no need to plan the burial through a traditional funeral home service. Learn more about the benefits of green burials here.
Choose EverAfterly For Your Green Burial Services in Northern California
EverAfterly offers several green burial services, including scattering the remains at sea, natural burial plots, and living urns. It is our mission to help protect our environment and ensure that your green burial wishes are met. We offer three burial plot preserves, including Whispering Pines in the Sierra Mountains, Howell Mountain in Napa Valley, and Morgan Oaks in Placer County. All of our natural burial preserves are protected through land management techniques that allow nature to thrive. If you’re interested in green burials, get in touch with the EverAfterly team today.