Green Burial Introduction

Green Burials

Green Burial, or Natural Burial is coming into popularity as more and more people are now taking the stewardship of our environment serious. While not for everyone, Green Burials are becoming more popular.


 What is Green Burial?

Green Burial is a way of caring for the dead with minimal environmental impact that furthers legitimate ecological aims such as the conservation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or preservation of habitat.


 Is Embalming necessary?

As with any funeral, embalming is not necessary if there is to be no public viewing. If the family wishes public viewing or calling hours, in their home or here at the funeral home, that can be arranged. Unlike traditional embalming using formaldehyde based chemical, embalming for a natural burial uses a nontoxic formula that has been proven not to harm the environment.

If the family does not wish a public viewing, we will arrange for a family only private viewing here at the funeral home on the day after the death. This would include the use of refrigeration before and after the viewing. The body would be dressed and casketed in casket selected.


Vessels for the body

Caskets, shrouds and urns are all vessel that hold the body. Any that are chosen for Green  Burial must be free from all toxic chemicals or glues, paints or varnishes, metal or any other material not 100% bio-degradable. They also have to be approved by the Green Burial Council and Swan Point Cemetery for internment in their Ellipse Section.


Swan Point Cemetery

585 Blackstone Blvd., Providence, Rhode Island

Rhode Island's only Green Burial Cemetery

Ellipse Section


Spaces available for natural burial are located in the “historic core” of the cemetery known as the Ellipse. Surrounded by mature trees and shrubs the land will be kept free of monuments preserving its natural setting. A granite ledger is available for communal inscriptions of names.

Every grave space allows for one full body burial, or two sets of cremated remains. Cremated remains must be placed in a biodegradable urn then buried. Both full body and cremation interments will take place without the use of any type of outer container therefore will be considered permanent and irretrievable



Swan Point requires the use of simple caskets made of wood or wicker for all natural burials. Wooden caskets must be free of toxic materials; they should be held together with wooden dowels and non-toxic glues. Caskets made of wicker, bamboo and other natural materials must be free of toxic paints and varnishes. The dimensions of a handmade casket should be similar to the size of a standard casket. If an oversized casket is required, please notify Swan Point to ensure that the grave can be expanded to the casket’s dimensions. The structural integrity of the casket must provide for appropriate handling of the body throughout the burial process. Shrouded bodies are permitted, but must be enclosed in a biodegradable casket.