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3 Things to Keep in Mind When Planning a Green Burial for a Loved One

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Green-BurialGreen burial is growing in popularity, as more people understand the environmental and societal benefits of natural decomposition.

This non-evasive, eco-friendly practice is free of toxic chemicals and fluids that are commonly used with earth burials.

According to the Green Burial Council (GBC), green burial “is a way of caring for the dead with minimal environmental impact that aids in the conversation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or preservation of habitat.”

If your loved one elects for green burial, you’ll want to put time into researching certified providers and products. Below, we outline three things to keep in mind when planning environmentally friendly end-of-life arrangements.

1. Ensure the funeral home is GBC-certified. 

While many funeral homes claim they support green burial, you’ll want to make sure the funeral home is certified by GBC.

To become GBC-certified, a funeral home must submit an application and undergo an evaluation process. If passed, the funeral home is granted a license, verifying that the establishment is a certified Green Burial Provider. The funeral home agrees to periodic compliance monitoring to ensure certification requirements are met on an ongoing basis. Additionally, GBC has a list of Cemetery Certification Standards for green burial to take place.

To ensure the funeral home is up to date with GBC rules and regulations, visit Find a Provider to review certified providers in your area.

2. Select GBC-certified products.  

There are a variety of products associated with burial, ranging in material, style and price. However, not all products are GBC-approved.

Because of this, the GBC has set forth the following standards for green burial products:

  • Finishes and adhesives of the product must not release toxic by-products in the facility where the product is manufactured, or in the location where the product is decomposed.
  • Finishes and adhesives of the product must not contain plastics, acrylics or synthetic polymeric materials.
  • All products must be produced and harvested out of reclaimed or recycled materials, including shell, liner and adornments. This may include bamboo, cork, rattan, hemp, organic wool or willow.
  • Transportation of the materials to the manufacturing location and the transportation of the finished product to the consumer must not exceed 3,000 miles

Before making any purchases, take time to evaluate available products both online and offline. A GBC-certified provider can guide you in selecting the appropriate products for your loved ones final resting place.

3. Ask about GBC-certified services.

Finally, you’ll want to inquire about green burial services. 

There are a multitude of options available when planning and designing your loved one’s green funeral. To ensure final arrangements are reflective of your loved one’s wishes, GBC created the Green Burial Planning Guide

This helps you and your family:

  • Identify environmental, economic and spiritual aims
  • Designate a funeral service (private versus public; open versus closed)
  • Select a cemetery
  • Verify a grave marker 

A funeral director can walk you through all of your options, and help you design a green burial service that honors the life and legacy of your loved one.

>>>Related Resource: Browse our store for a variety of environmentally friendly burial containers.

 Arrange Green Burial Services with Busch 

Busch Funeral and Crematory Services is GBC-certified. If your deceased loved one expressed interest in green burial, arrange services with Busch and let a member of our caring staff guide you through every step. No matter your request, we will work hard to exceed your expectations and fulfill your green burial service needs.

Arrange services with Busch

Image credit: Pixabay


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