The Truth About Natural Burials

By: Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation
Monday, March 6, 2023

What is a natural burial? How does it differ from other burials after services at funeral homes in Fulton, IL? Here is the truth about natural burials.  

To begin, natural burials are burials that do not use chemicals to preserve the body, reduce the use of unnecessary products, and lay the body to rest in a way that does not damage or negatively impact the environment. The term “natural burial” also refers to the actual process of burying a body, including opening and closing the plot and how the plot is memorialized. Generally speaking, a natural burial means the body is not embalmed and is buried in a simple, biodegradable casket or shroud in a hold dug by hand and finished with a natural marker or no marker at all.   

Natural burials have a few key differences from traditional burials. Unlike natural burial, traditional burial allows for embalming, caskets made from metal or wood, headstones, burial vaults, and grave liners. They also have differences from green burials. Though natural burial and green burial are similar, they are not the same thing. A green burial refers to both the burial process and where the body is laid to rest, meaning it must take place at a green cemetery that does not use pesticides or bury embalmed bodies. A natural burial, on the other hand, can happen at a traditional cemetery. People can choose a natural burial for themselves or their loved ones because it's environmentally friendly and often less expensive than traditional internment, and they find comfort in returning the body to nature. 

Can you choose a natural burial after cremation services? The point of natural burial is to avoid putting unnatural materials or substances into the earth. In that context, scattering or trenching cremated remains can be considered a natural burial.  

What about costs and laws? Since natural burials do not include accessories like embalming, heavy caskets, and headstones, they tend to be more affordable than a traditional burial. The natural burial feel generally includes the burial plot, interment fees, and a shroud or environmentally safe casket. Natural burials are legal in all 50 states. Some states, however, have restrictions. For example, in Indiana, you must perform a natural burial in an established ceremony or apply for a home burial permit. Contact your local burial providers to learn more about options in your area. If you’re considering a natural burial at home, be sure to check that local zoning laws allow for home burials.  

Stone is not used in natural burials. Though stone is a natural material, the processes used to mine, create, and transport vaults, liners, headstones, and other stone burial accessories are not natural. Therefore, stone, marble, concrete, and other similar materials are not used in natural burials. 

Do you have more questions about natural burials or Fulton, IL funeral homes? We are happy to help however we can during your time of loss or preplanning. Call or visit us today to learn more about our services or common disposition methods. 

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