A green burial is one in which: the body is not embalmed, the burial container is made of biodegradable materials or the body is wrapped in a shroud. There is no vault or cement grave liner. Rather, the container or the body is placed directly within the soil to biodegrade naturally. Learn about other characteristics of green burial.
Yes, green burial is legal.
Massachustts state law does not require the use of a grave liner or vault. A cemetery's Board of Directors or a city or town's Cemetery Commission develop their own rules and regulation about the kind of burial that is allowed in their cemetery.
Many cemeteries in Massachusetts do not yet allow green burial. GBM is conducting state-wide research to identify which cemeteries allow green burial. This information, along with other data on MA cemeteries, is being collected and entered into a searchable database.
Our mission is twofold: to start the first green cemetery open to all in Massachusetts, and to educate the public about green burial.