Author Julie Casper, L. Ac., is a hTMA clinician and educator, she works with patients across the U.S. and internationally. In addition, she supports health professionals who are interested in adding clinical hTMA to their practice. Contact:

Green (natural) Burial

Author: Julie Casper, L. Ac.


The modern funeral industry is responsible for releasing health-threating toxins into the air and ground water. For those who are concerned about the environment, and are seeking something other than a conventional cremation or burial in a cemetery, a ‘Green’ or natural burial may be of interest.

Green Burial is an environmentally friendly burial option, free from the carbon emissions produced through the cremation process. A study by the Cremation Association of North America has found that filtering crematorium fumes has little effect on the toxins released. Gaseous emissions are by far the greatest source of cremation pollution and the only crematorium waste that is regulated. One U.S. study found that in 2005, cremations released 6,600 pounds of mercury into the atmosphere. In addition to harmless compounds such as water vapor (H2O), emissions include the green house gas carbon dioxide (CO2); pollutants and carcinogens carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxide (NO2), and sulfur oxide (SO2); volatile acids such as hydrogen chloride (HCl) and hydrogen fluoride (HF), both of which form during vaporization of plastics or insulation; and mercury (often from dental fillings). Organic compounds such as benzenes, furans and acetone are also emitted and react with HCl and HF under combustion conditions to form polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), both of which are carcinogens. Hg, PCDDs, and PCDFs are of special concern because they are susceptible to bioaccumulation.

Green Burial also uses less land when compared with traditional cemeteries. A green burial takes place in a "green cemetery" or "natural burial ground." Burial vaults and embalming chemicals are not used. A fully biodegradable casket made from sustainable materials is placed directly into the earth where nature is allowed to take its course.

Environmental issues connected with conventional burial.

Each year, 22,500 cemeteries across in the United States alone bury approximately:


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