Is it Legal?

Natural burial, also called green burial, is the way our ancestors buried their dead. There are three standards that define a natural burial: there can be no embalming, no vaults, and all burial containers or shrouds must be biodegradable. It is the choice consistent with the desire to limit one’s impact on the environment, and it is legal in all 50 states. 

What is conservation burial?

Conservation burial is natural burial that goes a step further to conserve land. A portion of each burial fee is committed to pay for land acquisition, protection, restoration, and management. The burial area also becomes hallowed ground, restored to its natural condition and protected forever with a conservation easement. Native plants beautify the burial sites.

Those who support conservation are offered a more meaningful burial option with the certainty that protected land is the ultimate legacy to leave for future generations. Families and friends are brought closer to nature in the commemoration of their loved one’s life. The Green Burial Council offers certifications for organizations offering green burial related services. Find more information on their website

Can I use a casket?

What are my options? 

Any biodegradable burial product is appropriate for natural burials. Some people use unfinished wood caskets, some use wicker or woven caskets, and some people use a natural cloth shroud. A shroud is just a piece of fabric that is used to wrap a body. People often use family quilts, heirloom blankets, or cotton sheets. The shroud must be made of a natural and biodegradable material like cotton, linen, or wool.

Do animals disturb sites?

No, animals do not disturb or attempt to dig up sites. Graves are dug to a sufficient depth to prevent this. 

Can families have a viewing?

While some funeral homes’ policies require embalming for a family to view the body, there are no laws requiring a body must be embalmed to be viewed. There are many funeral homes that are more flexible in this regard. At PCCC families are encouraged to do anything they find meaningful or healing in the grieving process.