Green burial (or natural burial) is a method of interment having the least impact on the environment. The body is not embalmed and is placed in a biodegradable container or shroud and interred without a burial vault.
Some green cemeteries will accept cremains.
The goal is complete decomposition of the body and its natural return to the soil. Green cemeteries preserve the natural habitat of native trees, shrubs and plants and offer a refuge for birds and wildlife. Native field rocks are frequently used as headstones.
Prices for natural burial may vary widely by region and the type of cemetery. A green cemetery plot is usually larger and more expensive than a conventional cemetery plot. Since there are not many of them, travel time for the funeral director could also be an added cost. You can buy beautiful biodegradable coffins made of rush, bamboo or wood, or you can make your own pine box. A shroud is usually acceptable as well. The overall cost can be between $1000 and $5000.
New Jersey law requires the assistance of a funeral director at a green burial, but, as with home funerals, family participation in the preparation and service is encouraged.
There is one Natural Burial Ground in Steelmantown, New Jersey and another in Ithaca, New York. Some conventional cemeteries in New Jersey are offering the option of burial without vaults and other eco-friendly choices.
Click on www.greenburialcouncil.org for more information