Environmentally Conscious? These Green Burial Options May Appeal to You

Senior Woman Signing Documents with her attorney

If you’re worried about the environment, you may also be concerned about the impact that your death – more specifically your burial – could have on it. As a result, many people are now interested in learning more about green burials. 

Green burials, which are often referred to as natural or eco-friendly burials, are those that use only entirely biodegradable materials. For instance, many traditional burials include the use of embalming chemicals to preserve the body as well as a casket. However, both of these could cause harm to the environment. Alternately, green burials only utilize products that will decompose, returning to the earth. 

What Are Green Burial Options?

There are a variety of ways in which you can choose to have a green burial. Green burials include options such as:

  • Covering the body in fully decomposable materials;
  • Using a casket or earn that is made of fully decomposable materials;
  • Turning the remains to fertilizer to use in a garden; and
  • Placing the body in a biodegradable urn and planting something on it.

Not All Cemeteries Accept Green Burials

It’s important to note that not every cemetery will accept a green burial. This is because of what is required in order for a burial to be considered “green.” There are standards for this, established by the Green Burial Council (GBC). These standards say that in order for a burial (or a cemetery) to be considered green, all products used in the burial process, from the body’s preservation to the décor on the casket, must be made of only animal, plant-based, or natural materials. Since it can be a challenge trying to decipher whether or not a cemetery will perform a green burial, one of the easiest things you can do is choose a cemetery that only performs green burials. This type of cemetery is known as a natural cemetery

Planning for Your Green Burial

If you would like to have a green burial, or if you have specific wishes for after you pass away, one of the best ways to establish them is by including them in your estate plan. An estate plan will enable you to determine what you want to happen – in detail – after your passing. This can save your loved ones a lot of time, money, and stress generally associated with trying to decide on these plans for you. 

Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those in VA Who Want to Establish or Update an Estate Plan

If you or a loved one is interested in establishing or updating an estate plan, a knowledgeable and experienced Virginia estate planning attorney can do so for you.  

At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we will help you to achieve your estate planning goals and desires and to protect not only yourself but also your loved ones. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Estate planning/Trusts