Green burial services have risen in popularity over the past few years, with more people wishing to have a more natural burial site without embalming or a burial vault, instead opting for all biodegradable materials. It is a way of caring for the dead with “minimal environmental impact that aids in the conservation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of workers’ health, and the restoration or preservation of habitat,” ( This earth-conscious option also promotes the growth of native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers on the site.  

Green services provided at Ryan Funeral Home can include some traditions, such as a closed casket visitation, and will include professional services from the funeral home, facilities, transportation, documentation, coordination of services with clergy, newspapers, and the cemetery. Those planning a green burial service are still able to choose the burial shroud, pine box, or family-provided shroud or casket for the service.  

Green burials are typically less costly than a traditional funeral service, without the cost of embalming, a traditional casket, among other details.  

One of the goals of a green burial is to achieve decomposition, so that the deceased returns to the earth. By using a pine box or burial shroud instead of a traditional casket, the decomposition will not cause harm to the earth. Like a casket and traditional burial, the deceased will be buried far enough underground that they will not be dug up by a wild animal, nor will the decomposition cause an odor or contaminate any nearby drinking water.  

Green burials can take place in winter, just like a traditional burial, so long as the ground is not frozen. One distinguishing feature of a green burial is that they typically do not have an upright monument, instead opting for a flat marker made of stone. Some green cemeteries do not have physical grave markers but instead keep the names and dates of each person buried on a central cenotaph at the entrance.  

As with any burial service, a green burial service can be preplanned with a funeral director or preplanning specialist. Learn more about green burial services here []. If you or your loved one is interested in learning more about Ryan Funeral Home’s ability to plan a green funeral, please contact our office [ ].