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Green Burial Helps Environment and Saves Money

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

Is it proper to have a green funeral or a regular funeral?



Dear Pondering,

Both types of funerals are proper ways to bury a loved one. A green funeral or green burial is an environmentally friendly alternative to a traditional burial. Green burials prohibit embalming.

The deceased body is buried in natural fibers, wrapped in a shroud or blanket, or placed in a biodegradable casket made of cardboard, willow, bamboo. In addition trees, flowers, grass, or shrubs can be planted on the grave.

Green cemeteries keep the landscape preserved in a natural setting such as a woodland or meadow. A green burial helps the environment, is less expensive than a regular burial, and can be more meaningful as the life cycle continues with the body giving nourishment to the surrounding trees and plants. Depending on the green cemetery, the grave may be marked with a simple stone or tracked by GIS (Geographic Information System) or GPS (Global Positioning System).

According to, the results from an AARP poll asking about which type burial was more appealing (

8% wanted a traditional cemetery burial

18% chose cremation,

70% chose Green Burial

For more information about green burials and for locations in your state, see the Green Burial Council at and