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Green Burials

Green Burials

Butler Funeral Homes & Cremation Tribute Center is proud to be included with a select group of funeral service providers certified and approved by the Green Burial Council. Roselawn Memorial Park, also owned and operated by the Butler Family, is also certified by the Green Burial Council and offers a natural burial section called Greenview. Together, Butler Funeral Homes and Roselawn Memorial Park represent the ONLY funeral home and cemetery in Central IL certified by the Green Burial Council.

Green Burial Council is a non-profit organization working to make burial more sustainable, economically viable, and meaningful; and aims to reduce carbon emissions, waste, and the use of toxic chemicals in the cemetery and funeral fields. They also encourage the use of burial as a means of facilitating the restoration, acquisition, and stewardship of natural areas throughout the United States.

Our Green Burial options range from a Graveside Ceremonies within a Green Cemetery or Natural Burial within a conventional cemetery to a full visitation and funeral followed by Green or Natural Burial. Cremation options will be provided within the standards of the Green Burial Council.

What is "Green Burial"?

Green Burial is an environmentally sustainable alternative for funeral and burial where the body is returned to the earth to decompose as naturally as possible and be recycled into new life. A Green Burial does not preclude you from having an opportunity for private family time to say good-bye, a visitation, and memorial ceremonies to recognize and celebrate the life of your loved one.

What is Basic Care?

Basic Care is the care that is provided to your loved one in preparation of private family time to say good-bye. This care will include bathing and washing, combing of your loved one’s hair, and application of a topical disinfectant. We check for valuables and return any items to your family with an inventory list. We gently position your loved one’s body and gently close their eyes and mouth to natural lines of closure. We will remove any soiled clothing or sheets and will dress them in a hospital gown and cover them with a clean sheet until we receive the clothing you desire to use for their burial. The use of our temperature controlled care facility to facilitate temporary preservation is also provided. With Basic Care, there is no Embalming Care provided. For extended public visitation periods, it may be necessary to use dry ice to facilitate an open casket visitation period.

What is the Purpose of a Casket?

A casket holds a person with respect and dignity while in our custody. A “green” casket is a container, generally manufactured of wood, designed for the viewing of a deceased loved one in the funeral home for both private family time of goodbye and public visitation periods. The casket also serves as dignified and respectful storage for the body and allows for ease of transportation to the cemetery for interment or entombment. A green casket will be biodegradable.

What Materials are Used in Green Caskets?

There are several materials that may be used for Green casket construction, ranging from simple pine to woven sustainable materials. Bamboo is grown and harvested at licensed plantations (when it is cut down at the root, it takes just 59 days to grow back to full height without need for re-planting). Willow is cut from bushes known as crowns which remain harvestable for approximately 40 years before they need to be re-planted.

These caskets will biodegrade, leaving nothing but human remains within six months to one year from the time of burial. These caskets are also appropriate for cremation; an added benefit is the lack of toxins released into the environment during the cremation process.

How Does Burial Occur Without Use of an Outer Burial Container or Vault?

In conventional burial, an outer burial container, or vault, is used, helping to support the weight of the earth to prevent the grave from collapsing. It is typically a requirement of most cemeteries that aids in the maintenance of cemetery grounds.

To facilitate burial without an outer burial container, biodegradable caskets or burial shroudsmay be used to shelter the individual. Extra earth will be placed on top of the grave at the time of burial and it may be necessary to add additional earth at different intervals. Roselawn Memorial Park is the only cemetery in downstate Illinois that has a special Green Burial section allowing this type of interment.

Can Survivors Participate in the Burial Process?

Yes, most times survivors are invited to participate in the completion of the burial process.

Is Cremation a “Green” Option?

Cremation uses fewer resources than other disposition choices, but it also has an environmental impact. The Green Burial Council is working towards provisions to help identify ways to reduce or off-set the environmental impact of cremation. The main objective is to offer viable options for reducing the “eco-footprint” in whatever manner that is deemed appropriate by survivors.

Cremation does not exclude the need to recognize an individual and a life lived; or the need for dignified and respectful treatment of a body including, when desired or necessary, cosmetic restoration, clothing, and other related care; or the need for a private or public gathering; either with or without ceremony or ritual; or the need to select and arrange for meaningful final placement of a body following cremation; or the need to permanently and appropriately memorialize the life and the individual.

We own and operate our Cremation Center, so your loved one never leaves our care. And, our facility is always open for your inspection.

What is the Purpose of Cremation Container?

A cremation container holds a person with dignity and respect while in our care and is designed for the viewing of a deceased loved one for private family time of good-bye and any public ceremonies. A container will also allow for ease of transport and proper placement into the cremation chamber, again with respect and dignity. A cremation container also facilitates the cremation process and allows for safe handling of an individual for our associates. A proper cremation container prevents leakage of bodily fluid. Finally, the cremation container will be used during the identification process. Because we have standards to facilitate dignity and respect, we require a cremation container. Most “green” burial caskets will serve this intended purpose.

What is the Purpose of an Urn?

An urn is a specialized container to hold a person’s cremated remains. It will keep a person’s cremated remains together and protects the integrity of the cremated remains. Urns can be used for the following manners of final disposition: Interment, Entombment, Scattering, or Keepsake/Memorialization. We have urns that are designed to be biodegradable for scattering or for burial purposes or burial at sea.

Butler Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center- Springfield
Phone: (217) 544-4646
900 S. Sixth St., Springfield, lL 62703

Butler Funeral Home-New Berlin
Phone: (217) 488-3535
714 E. Gibson St., New Berlin, lL 62670

Butler Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center- Chatham
Phone: (217) 483-9292
8855 State Route 4, Chatham, IL 62629


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