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TOPIC: Going Green

Re:Going Green and disinterment 09 Aug 2010 08:58 #359

  • northstar73
  • northstar73's Avatar
  • Licensed Embalmer and Funeral Director

You bring up a very interesting point here and one that I think many fail to consider when reviewing "green burial" or what I prefer to call "direct earth burial" methods. Up to now, the most I have seen this be an issue is when a family wishes to disinter a child that was buried years ago in a simple casket (many times made of fiberboard or wood materials) with no outer burial container. In such cases, it was best to advise the families to leave the remains intact where they are since the recovery of all of them can be very difficult. I believe a "green cemetery" would be no different than one of those types of burials.

What is the main difference? With an outer burial container, such as the concrete or metal containers most cemeteries require, the remains are easy to access as they are all contained in a single container designed to remain intact while underground. By comparison, a direct ground burial where no permanent outer burial container is used would require sifting of the dirt for skeletal remains which would be further complicated by not knowing the exact depth they were buried at and the need to inspect a lot of cubic feet of earth.

To my knowledge, no specific laws in states or areas I have knowledge of have modified disinterment regulations due to burials without permanent outer burial containers such as caskets directly in the earth or non-casketed burials.

Remember, outer burial containers are CEMETERY requirements, not legal requirements, and many old cemeteries have graves without outer burial containers, so disinterment of these types of gravesite are not uncommon and have been done for years... except now we call these burials "green" burials. It is the same procedure with a different name.

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Re:Going Green 02 Sep 2010 22:03 #387

  • tumbleweed
  • tumbleweed's Avatar
Good point Northstar. Champions glutraldehyde based fluids were an effort to circumvent HAZMAT regulations. I don't have any problem with that. I wonder if it being safer and more tolerable to use was an afterthought. It was on the market well before the green movement.
An interesting but unsettleing side note. I've developed a rather serious respiratory condition. I've never smoked in my 55 years. My only enviromental exposure is very limited to formaldehyde. That is to say, 400 embalmings over a span of 9 years. No blame, probably just " luck of the draw". Until stopped by my physician, I will continue to use Dodge fluids as indicated to turn out the best results I can....... families first.
Regards, Tumbleweed
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Re: Going Green 30 Nov 2011 20:43 #674

At one funeral home I co-owned, we offered a plan where the remains were washed and dressed and cosmetized, then dressed, then placed in a bio-degradable cardboard casket that looked like a cloth covered casket; they were viewed by families in a normal viewing room for one day within 24 hours, then buried in a cemetery that didn't require a vault or outside enclosure.

No chemicals, a bio-degradable casket and a return to the earth without a vault. We only charged about $ 1500 dollars (as I remember) for this plan. The cemetery costs were additional depending on which cemetery was used.

The only things not bio-degradable were the jewelry and the polyester clothes on the remains.

In two years time, only one family opted for our green burial plan.

Not much demand for it in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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Re: Going Green 01 Dec 2011 09:45 #681

I should have mentioned our "Green" funeral plan did not require or include embalming.
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