Green Burial

What does it mean to have a “green burial”?

People usually assume there are only two options when it comes to taking care of the body after life. While cremation and traditional burial are most common, a green burial is an alternate burial option that offers a way to lessen environmental impacts. It also helps conserve earth’s natural resources while reducing carbon emissions. Green burials often use biodegradable caskets and do not require burning fossil fuels like cremations do. Green burial is a sustainable option that preserves natural habitats that otherwise would be disturbed by traditional burial. Embalming fluid is commonly avoided in green burials. The cancerous chemical, formaldehyde, found in embalming fluid is dangerous and has been proven to increase health risks to funeral home workers.

Two ways to have a green burial

While any alternate burial option that makes minimal environmental impacts and keeps natural habitats in mind is considered to be “green”, there are two specific methods to explore. They are both earth friendly burial options that allow a unique experience for loved ones. The Bios urn and eternal reef are ways to naturally use cremated remains to positively impact the environment. The Bios urn combines the cremated remains with seeds and soil that are placed in a special place to grow into a tree. The Green Burial Council sees this as an opportunity to “convert our cemeteries into lush forests filled with memories”. Eternal reefs are made by combining ashes with natural concrete to form artificial coral reefs that ultimately serve to restore life under the sea.

Places that offer natural burial options

If sustainability and the environment are important to you or a loved one when thinking about end of life care, then consider a green burial as a great earth friendly burial option. There are hundreds of Green Burial Council certified providers in the United States which consist of funeral homes, cemeteries, and product providers. Willwerscheid Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Saint Paul, MN, Mound Cemetery of Brooklyn Center in Brooklyn Center MN, and Herman-Taylor Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids, WI are three locations near Eau Claire, WI. For more details and locations, visit https://greenburialcouncil.org/find-a-provider