Natural burials have recently grown in popularity as conversations surrounding the environment and sustainability increase. As an alternative to the traditional burial process, natural burials are kinder to the environment, allowing the departed to return to nature.
Natural burials completely rework our understanding of traditional burials. Because of this, they even call for green and natural caskets, while some even forgo the casket altogether.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Natural Burial?
- Natural And Green Casket Materials
- What Are The Benefits Of Green Caskets?
- Where To Find Natural Caskets?
What is a natural burial?
The “natural” in “natural burials” refers to everything from the preparation of the deceased to the burial itself. Natural burials forgo the chemicals, embalming process and concrete burial vaults necessary for preservation in favor of environmentally friendly, natural decomposition.
In favor of environmental sustainability, natural burials limit their impact on the environment by ensuring that everything done within the burial process is done with a careful “leave no trace” mindset. This can even extend to natural coffin nails.
Burial Planning writes that while natural burial enthusiasts prefer no casket, biodegradable caskets or burial shrouds are applicable as long as they don’t interfere with the decomposition process.
Natural burials are also dug by hand, leaving behind the machinery that can pollute the environment. Not to be confused with green burials, which can only be done in a “green cemetery,” natural burials can be performed in a traditional cemetery.
Despite this difference, however, “natural” and “green” are often used interchangeably to describe the casket and other practices.
Natural and green casket materials
Any casket used must be biodegradable and able to breakdown with minimal environmental impact for a natural burial. This means that caskets with steel or made of fiberglass should not be part of a natural burial.
Natural and green caskets should be made of wood or other biodegradable material and should not contain any metal – the nails or hinges, for example – or receive any chemical treatments.
According to Everplans, natural caskets could be made from any number of materials that will decompose in the soil, such as:
- Rattan (wicker)
- Recycled cardboard
- Banana leaf
If you’d prefer a burial shroud, organic cotton, wool and felt are suitable materials, as well, according to Everplans.
What are the benefits of green caskets?
Opting for a green casket conserves metal and precious wood resources. While many green caskets used in natural burials are made of wood, they are specifically designed to be biodegradable by using low-impact materials with no chemical treatments. Over time, these materials will easily break down into nutrients for the soil.
Opting for less resource-heavy caskets and a natural burial ultimately lowers the burial’s environmental impact. Burial Planning notes that without the need for concrete vaults and resource-heavy caskets, the concrete and steel production and the need to transport them to the site are not necessary, therefore cutting down on carbon emissions.
Green coffins are also an environmentally-minded option instead of cremation. While cremation uses fewer resources than a traditional burial, it requires a significant amount of fossil fuels, contributing to increased carbon emissions that green coffins and natural burials do not.
Where to find natural caskets?
As natural and green burials rise in popularity, many funeral homes may already carry green caskets; otherwise, you can find the perfect one online.
Titan Casket is dedicated to providing you with all the answers you need when it comes to planning a funeral and navigating your grief. We can also help you when it comes to buying a casket for a natural burial or green burial.We are your trusted ally in planning the funeral you want at an affordable, fair price. Contact us via our chat window or here on our contact page to get started.