As many of us seek ways to protect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint, some families are seeking more natural ways of caring for their return to the earth.
Green funerals and green burials in their strictest form are an environmentally friendly approach to earth burial with the goal of returning to the elements as naturally as possible. Interment can take the place in a shroud, blanket, quilt or biodegradable casket. No embalming, manufactured caskets or concrete burial vaults are allowed.
A green burial will not necessarily cost less than a traditional service. The goal is to provide the services as naturally and environmentally friendly as possible. There are three green cemeteries to choose from, each having their own rules and regulations that must be adhered to.
Steelmantown Natural Cemetery
This cemetery is 149 mile which is 2 3/4 hours from Bergenfield
Greensprings Natural Cemetery
This cemetery is 227 miles which is 4 ½ hours from Bergenfield
Some purists will call it “greenwashing”, but if you want to be part of the green movement but do not want to go to the extreme measures that these cemeteries and the Green Burial Council are advocating you may want to use some of their ideas as you plan the service.
Maybe you already own an existing family plot, or do not wish to go where these green cemeteries are located because they are hours away. You can buy a grave in a local cemetery near to your home or where other family members are buried and create a greener funeral service as an alternative to the traditional types of funeral service. It should not have to be an all or nothing proposition.
For more information, visit the Green Burial Council at www.greenburialcouncil.org.