Green Burial Blog
help us spread the word about green burial so we all share in protecting our environment.
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.