What is green burial?
A green burial is one in which:
- the body is not embalmed;
- the burial container is made of biodegradable materials (soft wood, cardboard, wicker) or the body is wrapped in a shroud;
- there is no vault or cement grave liner – the container or body is placed directly on the soil;
- a headstone, if used, is fieldstone or made from indigenous material.
Is green burial legal? Yes.
Massachusetts state law does not require a grave liner or vault. Cemeteries develop their own rules and regulations about the kind of burial that is allowable in their cemetery.
Where can I have a green burial in Massachusetts?
Many cemeteries in Massachusetts don’t yet allow green burial. We are developing a list of those that do.