Carol has a post on her blog about green burial at a Bay area “green cemetery.” I’m in favor of green burial myself, but as a minister I can tell you that it can be pretty difficult to avoid the default burial method of our society: embalmed body in the most expensive sealed casket you can afford, placed in a sealed concrete grave liner in a conventional cemetery, with the most expensive stone marker you can afford. Death and burial has been consumerized like everything else in our society: embalming and caskets are big business; and the funeral home industry is dominated by big chains that put profit margins before family desires. And green burial, which should offer cost savings, sometimes becomes just another marketing ploy. So if you’re hoping for a green burial, it’s best to start planning well in advance. The Funeral Consumer’s Alliance (FCA) has a pretty good brochure on green burial and a short FAQ on green burials. FCA also links to the non-profit Green Burial Council (GBC); I have no personal experience with GBC so can’t recommend them myself.
And I’d love it if any of my readers who have had personal experience with arranging a green burial would tell us about it in the comments.