Which Is the More Environmentally-Friendly: Cremation or Green Burial?

Which Is the More Environmentally-Friendly: Cremation or Green Burial?

There are a few ways to return to the earth after death. One is to bury the body in the ground simply. This is the most common method, and it is what most people think of when they think of a funeral. Another option is cremation, where the body is burned, and the ashes are scattered. This is a less common method, but it is becoming more popular. 

There are also more unique options, such as composting the body or turning it into a tree. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to understand the options before deciding.

The Environmental Impact of Cremation and Traditional Burial

On the other hand, green burials use natural materials that decompose quickly and have little to no environmental impact. This includes materials like bamboo, wool, and unbleached cotton. Green burials also typically do not use vaults or concrete, reducing the environmental impact.

Cremation is the process of disposing of a corpse by burning it. This method is more environmentally friendly than traditional burial methods, requiring fewer resources. However, cremation does release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.

Reducing Environmental Impact

A green burial is a funeral where the body is buried naturally, without a casket or vault, and at a shallower depth. This allows the body to decompose more quickly and return to nature. Other details, such as not embalming the body and using digital programs instead of printed ones, can also be part of a green funeral.

An option for those who want to be practical and meaningful is to plant a tree as part of the service or in a loved one’s honor. Trees are a powerful symbol of life and living memorial, and they neutralize carbon emissions. Within two years, a freshly planted tree completely offsets the impact of cremation. 

Many people choose to have cremation ashes mixed with soil and used as a planting medium for a sapling, allowing for a carbon-neutral way to lay a loved one to rest. You can also arrange for guests to donate toward tree planting rather than buying flowers.

Why Choose Green Burial

Green burials are more environmentally friendly than cremation because they use fewer resources and minimize environmental impact.

A conservation cemetery is a burial ground that seeks to offset the negative environmental impact of traditional cemeteries by keeping the surroundings as natural as possible. This type of cemetery typically buries people on protected natural land and uses money from burial fees to fund continuing conservation efforts.

While conservation cemeteries can be a great option for eco-conscious people, they may be inconvenient for families to visit, and there are few to choose from. A compromise option for people who want an earth-friendly burial is to choose a mixed-use cemetery, a traditional cemetery that has set aside some land for green burial.


Green burial is more environmentally friendly and sustainable than traditional burial practices. It is less harmful to the environment and can help preserve natural resources. Green burial is also a more economical option, as it does not require using expensive materials or equipment.

Evergreen JAX is not only a cemetery but also a funeral home and crematory. We offer families the right avenue to express their goodbye to a loved one while making everything convenient for them, including all arrangements in one location. We are available to serve your needs whether you are using Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville, FL, or any other resting place of your choice. Get in touch with us today.

Click To Call