Green burial is a way of caring for the dead with minimal environmental impact that furthers legitimate ecological aims such as the conservation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or preservation of habitat.
What is a “green” funeral?
In general terms, these involve holding the deceased remains without embalming (no toxic chemicals) or in some cases, formaldehyde-free embalming. Also, the use of a biodegradable casket (designed to return to the elements of the earth) along with a meaningful celebration of life and shorter viewing periods are common.
What is a “green” burial?
This is usually in a woodland or open field setting, or can be on a private farm or property (in compliance with local laws and zoning.) The grave is marked by trees, rocks or flowers as opposed to a permanent marker or monument. No concrete vaults are used, and the graves may be dug by hand, conserving fuel.
How do I know that a particular product is suitable for a “green” burial?
We believe a casket, urn, or shroud is suitable for a green burial if it’s made from materials/substances that are nontoxic and readily biodegradable. We also require that these products not be made from materials that are harvested in a manner that unnecessarily destroys habitat, as is the case with certain types of sea grass. A true green cemetery will not allow for the use of concrete or plastic burial vaults or outer burial containers. We have several burial and cremation merchandise selections to choose from.
Is Cremation considered “green?”
Cremation is generally not considered green because of the large amounts of non-renewable fossil fuels burned during the cremation process. It is helpful, however in the sense that land is not being used for burial. For those choosing cremation, our funeral home offers several biodegradable urns which are suitable for burial in the earth or water.
Are there local “green” cemeteries?
These two cemeteries are the closest Green Cemeteries to us.
- Green Meadow at Fountain Hill Cemetery, Bethlehem, PA
- Gethsemane Cemetery, Laureldale, PA
Two things are important to remember… one is that you don’t have to be all-green or not-green. We can recommend any combination of ways to begin respecting our environment by doing as much or as little “green” as you wish. There are different tiers of green, all of which can contribute to a more environmentally friendly sendoff.
Remember, as funeral service professionals, we are here to make recommendations for an adequate and proper funeral and most of all, to give the families what they want. We respect your choices.
The other factor is that eco-friendly funerals can be arranged when needed, or they can be pre-planned ahead of time, a choice which will certainly be appreciated by one’s children when the time comes. A pre-arranged funeral can be made with green components which will help improve our environment in the future.
If you have further questions or would like more information about Eco-Friendly and Green burial options, please feel free to contact us.