From my secret shopping days I know that the industry resists natural bodies in open caskets. Part of their formal education and the culture in which they work glorifies embalming. Some in the conventional industry might truly wish to have green burial on their service lists, but might not know how to go about this. Be aware of any services listed as green if the body must be buried immediately. If you are looking for an open casket funeral with a natural body, I recommend picking a green certified provider from the Green Burial Council. Remember a body can be refrigerated for some time before a funeral. I had a funeral director tell me a body could be refrigerated for 10 days before burial. I think that sounds reasonable. As another choice, a home funeral guide also knows how to maintain the body in the home before the funeral. We have more options than we think. Direct burial can be a green option, but only if the family wishes a swift burial. For those who want a full funeral and burial, they and should be able to get what they want.
When we started Midwest Green Burial Society, we knew would have our hands full. I look out at the industry and the amount of education that remains and I know this is the work I want to do. I love opening people’s minds to the possibilities they thought were closed to them. On the other hand we stand against nearly a hundred years of an industry doing what it pleases as it reeducated people into fearing the dead, and believing that embalming our beloved family members, placing them in an elaborate tomb best demonstrates our love for them. I admit this is a difficult task, changing the tide and speaking plainly about death and simple burial options, but it is a task I readily take up. Someday we hope that attitudes will change and people will be free to celebrate and mourn the lives of those they love in simple ways of their choosing