Green burials use less energy, consume fewer resources such as water, are less toxic, may use local, sustainable materials and encourage environmental protection or regrowth.
Bodies are not embalmed because that delays decomposition and without the chemicals to preserve the body, toxic chemicals are avoided, reducing harmful exposure both to nature and the embalmer. Instead, bodies are wrapped in a biodegradable shroud or placed in a biodegradable casket.
Green funerals are increasing in popularity in Ireland. Ireland's first natural burial site is in Wexford. A single plot costs around 800 euro.
See www.greencoffinsireland.com for more information.