Cemetery Burial vs Green Burial: What’s the Difference?

Times are changing and so do the traditions of funeral homes Northern Cambria, PA. Gone are the days when traditional, cemetery burial was the most popular final disposition type. Now, many Americans are opting for Natural Burial as a burial type.

So, the question stands, what’s the difference between a cemetery burial and a Green burial? And why so many Americans are preferring natural burial? Let’s find out!

Traditional Cemetery Burial

In simplest of terms, cemeteries are graveyards owned by the local authority which are dedicated to burials and the internet of ashes. There may be trees but most of the area is covered by rows of graves marked with headstones and typically a chapel for holding ceremonies.

The bereaved family needs to buy one plot or more from the local council to accommodate the deceased’s body.

Green Burial

Green burial ground, on the other hand, is a privately owned land in a scenic location dominated by plants, trees, flowers, and wildlife. Generally, green burial plots are larger than those in traditional cemeteries and may cost more.

What Are the Differences

Green burials emphasize the need for simplicity and an environmentally friendly disposition. The body is not embalmed, cremated, or prepared with harmful chemicals nor any pesticides are used while burying it to have a minimal environmental impact and conserve the natural resources.

The body is placed in a biodegradable container instead of a casket and lowered into the ground to be fully decomposed naturally. Traditional burials include body embalming, the use of preservatives and chemicals, and heavy caskets made of steel and wood to prevent the decomposition of the body.

Why People Are Choosing Green Burials?

Green burials are in practice since the 19th century but the number of families choosing them as the type of final disposition has been through the roofs. While the reasons for selecting a Green burial vary from person to person, here’re major motivations for this service:


Environmental stewardship has forced many people to view their end-of-life celebrations through a Green lens. Green burials have naturally become an ideal choice as they consume less material and have a reduced impact on the environment.

funeral homes Northern Cambria, PACost Savings

Since Green burials don’t involve caskets, embalming, and concrete vaults, they can save you a significant amount of money depending on the cost of the burial plot. They are an ideal cost-effective alternative to traditional burials if you want to stick close to a budget.

Conserve Natural Resources

In the US, millions of board feet of hardwood and almost 90,000 tons of steel are buried in the ground in the form of caskets. And similarly, over 17000 tons of steel and copper are consumed by steel vaults and 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete by concrete vaults.

With a Green funeral, you preserve natural resources as it does away with the use of vaults and caskets.

Likewise, Green funerals don’t use embalming fluid, which contains formaldehyde. To give you a perspective, almost 6 million gallons of embalming fluid are used in the US every year and by opting for a Green burial, you discourage its use. You can discuss your options with funeral homes Northern Cambria, PA.