Skip to content

Green Burial

What is Green Burial or Natural Burial?

What is Green Burial or Natural Burial?

Litwiller – Simonsen Funeral Home is one of a select number of funeral homes approved by the Green Burial Council to offer a green burial package. Most of our green burial merchandise has also been certified by the Green Burial Council.

The goal of Natural Burial or Green Burial is to provide a form of burial that is as close to the natural process as possible. Also considered is the environmental impact of the burial process and products used. Litwiller – Simonsen Funeral Home provides service packages and burial merchandise that meet those goals.

A green burial is defined as a burial that takes place without the use of embalming, metal caskets, or outer burial containers. It is essentially the way most of humanity has cared for its dead for thousands of years up until the late 19th century.

Natural Burial Caskets

Litwiller – Simonsen Funeral Home offers caskets designed for natural or green burial. The Willow and Seagrass caskets are woven from sustainably harvested biodegradable materials. The Oregon Pine is made in Grants Pass, Oregon by a local cabinet maker using wood harvested in Southern Oregon.

Natural Burial Shrouds

Shrouds offer an alternative to the casket and are designed with lowering straps for gracefully placing the deceased in the grave. Several different materials are available and some designs include burial herbs and spices sewn into the lining.


Families are encouraged to be as involved in the preparation process as they are comfortable. The staff of Litwiller – Simonsen Funeral Home will assist in any way needed to insure a meaningful and respectful burial experience for family and friends.

With green burial there is no embalming used to preserve the remains. However, a body can be held in refrigeration for up to a week or more until arrangements can be made for burial. Litwiller – Simonsen Funeral Home provides refrigeration for all the families we serve.

Cemeteries allowing green burial

Not all cemeteries allow burial without an outer burial container or with only a shroud. Most outlying pioneer cemeteries do not require an outer burial container. Currently Scenic Hills Memorial Park in Ashland will allow a Green Burial, as does Mountain View Cemetery in Ashland.

The most recent addition to Green Burial options in Southern Oregon is The Forest Conservation Burial Ground, located at Willow-Witt Ranch just outside of Ashland, Oregon's first dedicated natural burial ground.