What is green burial?
According to the Green Burial Council, green or natural burial is a way of caring for the deceased with minimal environmental impact. Generally, the body is prepared without chemical preservatives or disinfectants such as embalming fluid that may destroy the microbial decomposers active in breaking the body down. The body is usually buried in a biodegradable coffin, casket, or shroud. The grave does not use a burial vault or outer burial container that prohibits the body's contact with soil. The grave should be dug to a depth shallow enough to allow microbial activity similar to that found in composting. Natural burials must take place in a cemetery that will accommodate the vault-free technique.
A natural burial ground will utilize natural memorialization techniques such as planting trees, shrubs, and flowers on or near the grave to establish a living memorial and help create habitat. Irrigation, pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers may be significantly reduced or eliminated altogether, in favour of non-toxic and less resource-dependent vegetation support and control.