Green burials becoming an alternative option for those who have - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Green burials becoming an alternative option for those who have passed

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Porter Rea Cemetery at Potato Creek State Park holds green burials Porter Rea Cemetery at Potato Creek State Park holds green burials
Cremation and being buried in a steel or metal casket seem to be the more common routes when a person dies. But those aren't you're only options. There is an alternative option called green burials.

Porter Rea Cemetery Association President David Donathen says there have been 5 or 6 green burials at his cemetery. "There are a few people who want to go back to nature when they die and this is the fast way to do that," Donathen said.

A green burial includes putting the body in a basket made of wood or wicker. These are materials that will decompose as the body does. In most cases, embalming fluid is not used and if it is it is an Eco-friendly embalming liquid. Also, the body is generally buried about three feet deep which is not as deep as a traditional burial.

J. Patrick McGann is the owner of McGann Hay Funeral Homes has been in the business for 47 years. He says there are quite a few guidelines when it comes to burial services. He says the Indiana State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Services makes the rules. "Well there's a booklet full of laws. There's all sorts of laws governing burials, funeral homes and cemeteries," McGann said.

He says some important rules pertaining to Indiana include burials must be at a regulated cemetery or traditional farm cemetery. He says a funeral director must also be involved whether it is a burial at a cemetery or cremation.

McGann says he called over 30 cemeteries to get permission to perform green burials. He was given permission at Porter Rea Cemetery and Mount Pleasant Cemetery. "I've done a handful," McGann said.

He says he could see green burials becoming a popular option. "Green burials are a new phenomenon. They may take our industry as strongly as cremations as taken our industry," McGann said.

Donathen shared the stories of the people with green burials at Porter Rea. He says families all expressed the same idea that their loved ones would become a part of Earth. "People who are buried green, go back to green," Donathen said.
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