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.
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.
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.