4750 N. Santa Monica Blvd.
Whitefish Bay, WI
(414) 964-3111
Available 24 hours a day

Green Burial

What is Green Burial?

Green Burial is a commitment to returning the body to the earth as naturally as possible.  The most common elements of Green Burial are the avoidance of embalming or other chemical preservatives, the selection of a biodegradable casket and shroud and the elimination of the outer burial container, if permitted by the cemetery. Jewish burial rites have always been consistent with the goals of a Green Burial commitment, avoiding metal caskets, embalming or any other practices that might unnecessarily or unnaturally impede the process of nature.

Cemetery options
Green Burial offers several levels of commitment so even if you have already purchased a burial plot at a cemetery which requires an outer burial container, you can still participate in Green Burial in other ways such as the selection of a biodegradable casket and shroud, declining embalming, choosing a simple stone or flat grave marker or even placing holes at the bottom of the outer burial container.

If you have not purchased a burial plot, there are cemeteries in the area which promote Green Burial options:

Natural Path Sanctuary, Verona, WI

Prairie Green Cemetery, Milwaukee, WI (located within Forest Home Cemetary)

Prairie Home Cemetery, Waukesha, WI

Is it more expensive?
No.  In most cases, a Green Burial is less expensive than a traditional burial.  Because it is a simpler process, often trading a more elaborate metal or finished casket for a simpler unfinished or biodegradable casket, the costs can decrease significantly.  The elimination of the embalming, public viewing (in some cases) and even the outer burial container also offer considerable savings.

Why not embalm?
Except in some cases, such as when remains are to be placed in a mausoleum, no federal law does not require embalming.  Embalming fluid is primarily a formaldehyde product which became a common source of preservation to transport the remains of soldiers to their homes during the Civil War.  Embalming is not required to sanitize remains, may pose a health risk to funeral industry workers and can be replaced with refrigeration as a means of temporary preservation.  Private visitation is permitted without embalming.

What about cremation?
The impact of cremation on the environment is often misleading.  While cremation does use fewer resources than traditional burial, it does require the burning of fossil fuels and can result in the emission of mercury.  Families who prefer cremation but would like to pursue Green Burial options of the cremated remains are urged to select a biodegradable cremation container, a biodegradable cremation urn and a natural or flat grave marker to mark the final resting place.

How do we incorporate Green Burial options into funeral planning?
Because there are several participation levels which conform to Green Burial practices, our staff can guide your family at each step offering various options that include caskets or urns constructed of biodegradable matter; refrigeration and sanitation options to avoid embalming; and natural burial shrouds.   Families are permitted a private visitation even if embalming is declined.

Our staff can also assist with the selection of a cemetery if you wish.  Participation of the family in filling the grave is encouraged, but not required, providing not only environmental but also spiritual benefits to survivors.

Marking the grave can range from a natural marker to a flat grave marker to a larger marker.  We can assist with selection and engraving according to your family’s wishes.

Green Burial arrangements can be prefunded in advance through a bank trust or insurance policy.

Contact Us

We serve all of our families with compassion, dignity and respect.  Our staff is prepared to assist families of all faiths, at any Green Burial commitment level or at a traditional burial level in order to provide affordable funeral goods and services that are appropriate for you.  The loss of a loved one is already a time of grief, shock, immeasurable sadness and often vulnerability.  Our role is to provide guidance, options and answers that you are comfortable with at your time of need.  We are here to help.

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