Madison Memorial Home is one of the few funeral homes in New Jersey that offers green burial services, also called natural burials. Here is some helpful information about this process and benefits of this service.

What is a Green Burial?

A typical funeral in the United States usually includes a few standard elements such as a coffin, lots of flowers, and embalming for the deceased. Not every family feels that these elements are necessary, and some people would rather keep things simple instead of paying for all those costly embellishments. Green burials, or natural burials, offer a chance to bury your loved one with the respect and dignity they deserve while providing a more simple, cost effective option. Green burials also emphasize environmental sustainability. The extent of how “green” a burial can be is up to the individual or their family. The service can be as simple as wrapping the deceased in a cotton shroud before lowering them into the ground.

Natural Cemeteries

Natural cemeteries, also known as eco-cemeteries or green cemeteries, are a new style of cemetery set aside for natural burials.  Natural burials are motivated by the desire to be environmentally conscious, although natural burials can be performed at any type of cemetery, they are usually done in a natural woodland area.  Conventional markings such as headstones are generally replaced with a tree or a bush or a placement of a natural rock.

Why Choose a Green Burial over More Traditional Options?

Green burials are not a new phenomenon. In fact, before the mid-19th century most burials would have been considered green burials. Even to this day many Muslim and Jewish burials are still green burials. There are a few reasons why green burials are becoming more common in the US, including:

  • Simplicity - Foregoing the coffin and wrapping the body in a plain cloth or basic wood coffin is cheaper and easier and appeals to those who want their burial arrangements to be simple and natural.
  • Lower Cost - Foregoing an expensive coffin and the embalming process can greatly decrease the cost of burial arrangements.
  • Conserve Natural Resources - Each year, US cemeteries bury over 30 million board feet of hardwood and 90,000 tons of steel in caskets, 17,000 tons of steel and copper in vaults, and 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete in vaults.
  • Preserving the environment - A green cemetery can be an important component in the acquisition and conservation of native habitats.

Isn’t Embalming Necessary?

Embalming is used during many burial arrangements in order to delay decomposition and make the body look natural. If you are going to have an open casket wake or memorial ceremony before the burial, embalming is probably something you’ll want to do. However, embalming is not required and a body can be safely buried without going through this process. Most people think embalming is necessary simply because that is how they have seen it done in the past. 

Green Burial Services at Madison Memorial Home

There are many things to consider when deciding on the funeral arrangements for a recently-deceased loved one. At Madison Memorial Home, we will explain all our options and assist you with making these difficult decisions. If you believe that a green burial is the right choice for your loved one, we will help you every step of the way with our professional burial services. Contact us today to learn more about New Jersey green burials.