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.