What is meant by Green Burial?
Green burial is an alternative method of disposition that allows the remains of a person to return back to the earth naturally. Ideally, green burial minimizes the impact disposition has on the environment and protects and preserves natural environments. This is accomplished by placing the unembalmed body in a shroud or biodegradable container which is then placed directly into the ground. Consideration may even be given to the type of clothing in which the body is dressed. True green burial grounds are specially designed nature preserves where native and endangered wildlife and flowers flourish. Graves in these settings are identified by a simple engraved flat rock. Although green burial is considered a new concept in the U.S., prior to the Civil War, nearly all bodies in the U.S. would have been cared for in this manner. The renewed interest has spread from England, where the practice is common. Although permitted by PA state law, only a small percentage of established cemeteries in the Commonwealth permit green burials.