Going Back Means Giving Back

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 rather, the container or body is placed directly on the soil to biodegrade naturally. A headstone, if used, is fieldstone or made from indigenous material.

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Is green burial legal? Yes. Massachusetts state law does not require use of a grave liner or vault. Cemeteries develop their own rules and regulations about the kind of burial that is allowable in their cemetery.

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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.

View the list of cemeteries in MA that do allow green burial »