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A Green Burial: What Is It? March 28, 2024

white cross with yellow flowers

Like most aspects of life, the funeral industry experiences trends. Most recently, there has been a significant growth in the popularity of celebrations of life. These are a bit more casual, upbeat final services as opposed to the traditional dark, solemn services.

In recent years, we have also seen an increase in inquiries about natural or green burials. Green burials are generally more environmentally friendly final services with elements that demonstrate concern for the planet, even following death.

What are some of the elements of a green burial, and who is choosing them? What are the advantages of a green burial, and are there various levels of such a natural burial?

What Is a Green Burial/Funeral?

A green funeral/burial is a final service and interment with a focus on minimizing environmental impact.

How “Extreme” Does a Green Burial Have to Be?

There can be levels to what degree families can implement green elements into final services. Strictly speaking, a green burial is when a body is not embalmed, and is buried without a concrete vault, and is allowed to decompose naturally in the soil.

What Are the Advantages of a Green Burial?

Besides being more ecologically friendly, there are fewer expenses associated with a green burial. It forgoes embalming and the use of harmful chemicals. A green burial doesn’t require expensive caskets, cement vaults, and more. Most materials used in a green burial are biodegradable.

Who Chooses a Green Burial?

Green burials are being chosen by a wider group of people than ever before. Some are simply people who have demonstrated a concern for the environment throughout their lives. Some are minimalists who avoid excessive waste. Many who preplan their own final services will select a green burial as a personal choice.

What Other Green Elements Should Be Considered?

Along with a green burial, there are other elements families can consider for a green funeral. Some may choose to eliminate the use of limos or even a procession. Families have chosen virtual services to minimize travel. Families will often avoid choices that may ultimately be harmful to the environment.

How Long Does Natural Decomposition Take?

Depending on moisture levels and the type of soil, the soft tissue of a body can decompose in just a few weeks. A majority of the body will be recycled into the soil in about two years. Bones can take 20 years or more to be absorbed into the soil.

Contact Us to Learn More

Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory has long been a progressive force in final services in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas. We were one of the first in the country to use motorized vehicles in funerals and have the first privately owned crematoriums in the Greater Cincinnati area. We’ve long offered pre-planning services and consulting. Fares J. Radel has offered the services of a grief support animal and will even come to you to make final arrangements.

If your family doesn’t have a funeral “home” in the Cincinnati area, we invite you to reach out to us at Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. We would be honored to serve you.

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