Ask the Funeral Director
Dear FD, What is Green Burial?
Green burial means different things to different people.
Essentially, green burial is a method of burying a deceased person in a manner that their remains break down naturally over time. This means that only materials that are biodegradable are buried with the decedent. No concrete burial vault or metal caskets are used. Instead, either a muslin shroud or a casket woven from bamboo or seagrass is used to bear the remains into the grave. Important to note is that green burial must take place in a certified green burial location. There are only a select few in the State of Michigan. This is important because proper techniques must be used to ensure the body is buried in such a way as to both prevent interference from animals tampering with the gravesite, and to be sure the excavation is done in an environmentally friendly way.
Typically, green burial is done very quickly, within 24-48 hours after death, but in cases where this is not possible and embalming must be done, we use a chemical free embalming solution that allows us a few more days to make burial. The most important thing to remember is to seek advice from a certified green burial provider. Our funeral home staff is trained and continually educated for certification by the Green Burial Council in order to serve as a resource for information about green burial, and as a provider of green certified services. It is important to talk to your family and your funeral service professional in planning a green burial. Ideally, these plans are discussed and formulated long before the time comes to use them.