Hillard 1
Breanna Hillard
Eng 111
December 1, 2014
Green Burials
$10,000; that’s a tremendous amount of money right? Well, in all honesty, that’s about
how much the average funeral costs. (Funeral Costs: How Much Does An Average Funeral
Cost?). However, today’s century welcomes a new phenomenon: Green Burial. What exactly is
this? According to the Green Burial Council, “Green, or natural burial is a way of caring for the
dead with minimal environmental impact that aids in the conservation of natural resources,
reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or
preservation of habitat. Green burial necessitates the use of non-toxic and
biodegradable materials, such as caskets, shrouds, and urns” (What is Green Burial?). “Green
Burials first appeared in Britain, which aimed to reduce the toxins and waste to allow for a more
natural decay” as stated in the article Even Death is Green in Proposed Eco-friendly Cemetery.
These burials have been growing more popular ever since.
Green Burials differ from standard burials by many
reasons. One, there is no embalming process at all, which
cuts the cost significantly. Two, these burials range only
cost up to about $2000, which in comparison to $10,000, is
a deal. The picture to left, which was retrieved from, shows another way they are
different. When buried the natural way, the body is placed in
Hillard 2
a casket made of ecofriendly materials and is wrapped in a shroud. The deceased are buried a
shorter distance from the surface, and resembles a forest floor. The headstone is only a rock with
a flat under surface, instead of an expensive headstone. All of these components are supposed to
make for a natural burial so that the body can become one with the earth when it decays. This
process is very spiritual many people would say. So should all funerals, or say burials, convert to
this method? Only time will tell.
Hillard 3
Stephenson, J. (2008, July 21). Even death is green in proposed eco-friendly cemetery. Retrieved
December 1, 2014, from
Tatham, B. (2012, July 24). A-Greener-Way-To-Go-Standard-Burial-Versus-Natural-GreenBurial. Retrieved November 19, 2014, from
Testa, M. (2014, September 5). Funeral Costs: How much does an average funeral cost?
Retrieved December 1, 2014, from
What is green burial? (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2014, from