Seattle, Washington

Green Funerals the Seattle Area

Only two Seattle firms so far have become Green Burial Council-certified providers of green funerals. They are People's Memorial Funeral Cooperative and A Sacred Moment Inc. Both are located in the 1800 block of 12th Avenue. The council endorsement ensures customers are made aware of the services' waste-free and toxin-free body handling. These services are included in the general price list every funeral home is required by federal law to provide customers.

People's Memorial is a member-owned cooperative with the purpose of providing low-cost and environmentally friendly services.

A Sacred Moment arranges home funerals and life celebrations with emphasis on the uniqueness of the individual.

Green funerals avoid use of chemicals or materials that will interfere with a body's natural decomposition. Thus, no embalming or preserving fluid. For appearances' sake, embalming has become commonplace in the United States because of the rituals of viewing or staging an open-casket funeral. But a growing segment of the population is rejecting embalming as chemically undesirable.

Likewise, green burials use no steel or lead-lined caskets, and no concrete tombs or vaults. Caskets are made of wood or cardboard, or bodies are wrapped in natural-fiber shrouds. Requirements in many communities require grave liners to buttress the weight of caskets. To date, Seattle has no green cemeteries.

An ancillary aspect of green funerals is they tend to cost less than traditional funerals.