Consumer Services

Green Burials - Consumer Information

Why choose natural burial?





Every year, more people are becoming aware of the impact their daily decisions have on the world around them.

Many people have found that natural burial is more compassionate for their families and the earth. Families are able to care for their loved one’s body and say their farewells in the familiar surroundings of their own home. Then the body is buried in an eco-friendly casket or shroud that allows the body to return to the earth in a natural setting. No embalming fluids are needed, so the body can safely become part of the natural environment.


Current commercial burial practices typically involve transporting a loved one’s body to a mortuary, replacing the blood with embalming fluid, purchasing an elaborate metal or hardwood casket. This is followed by internment in a thick metal and concrete vault. Many people believe these practices will preserve the body, but they actually only serve to delay its decomposition.



Penn Hills Natural Burial Site, Pennsylvania


Natural Burial Facts


Did you know...
• It is legal to take care of your loved one's body in their home or yours. Many families find this comforting.
• It is legal to transport your loved one's body in your own vehicle from hospital, hospice, or other facility to your home, a cemetery, or a crematorium.
• You may provide a casket of any kind (cardboard, wood, wicker, bamboo, etc.) to any funeral home free of charge, without any handling fee.
• Funeral Homes are required to make alternative containers available for cremation.
• According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Funeral Rule, embalming is not required for burial in any state “except in certain special cases” (usually interstate transport).
• No particular type of casket or embalming will preserve the body of your loved one for an unlimited time.
• Final Footprint caskets are a carbon-neutral solution
• Final Footprint offers a variety of customized casket options in banana leaf, rattan, woven bamboo, and wood
• Final Footprint is the only U.S. distributor of Ecoffins, a Fair-Trade certified line of caskets.

Did you know...
• Every year in the U.S. we bury:
• 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid
• 90,272 tons of steels in caskets and vaults
• 2,700 tons of copper and bronze in casket linings
• 30, 000,000 board feet of hardwood, including wood from endangered forests, for caskets
• 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete burial vaults
• Cremation is not environmentally friendly . . .
• The cremation of a single body requires up to 356 cubic feet of natural gas because humans are mostly water
• Cremation produces carbon dioxide and this exacerbates climate change
• Cremation produces sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which contribute to the formation of acid rain
• Cremation emits dioxin, which is one of the most potent toxins known
• Each cremation produces 1.6–8.5 grams of toxic mercury into the environment from cremated dental fillings (when buried with an entire body, fillings remain inert).



Greensprings Natural Cemetery, near Ithaca, New York



Sources: Mary Woodson, vice president of the Pre-Posthumous Society of Ithaca, New York reported in Mother Earth News, April/May 2003. Philip Donald Batchelder, “Dust in the Wind? The Bell Tolls for Crematory Mercury” in Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal, Vol, 2, No. 1, 2008. Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule

Testimonials

Jane's coffins are incredible, lovely to look at and reasonably priced. She is truly bringing a needed product to the funeral business. Along with home funerals, the future of the industry is changing in very positive ways. People are being more responsible and letting loved ones know their wishes. They are putting their affairs in order. Dying with dignity is a right of everyone. And the more we face the subject of death, the better.

Maggie Watson