This video, produced by the Natural Burial Association, is a beautiful and short introduction to Green Burial principles and practices.
Green Burial means allowing a human body to decompose and return to the earth naturally.
- The body is not embalmed; cold and cleanliness can keep the body in good condition for several days.
- The body is buried directly in the earth, in a shroud or bio-degradable casket made of local materials (pine, for example). It is not enclosed in a metal coffin or concrete vault.
- Burial is not as deep as conventional modern burial, (3 or 4 feet, as opposed to 5 or 6 feet) so that the body rests in the living area of the soil; there is enough soil over the body that there is no smell, and animals are not attracted to the grave.
- The burial ground is maintained in as natural a state as possible planted with native plants that encourage native animal, bird and insect species and don’t require irrigation or mowing.
- Markers are of natural materials such as native stone, and flat or low to the ground. Or a communal memorial may be chosen.
The practice is nothing new, people treated their dead this way for thousands of years before embalming and other modern burial practices became popular.