Comparing Conventional Burial and Green Burial

Nov 17, 2013 | 0 comments

It’s been said that conventional burial utilizes enough metal to build a Golden Gate Bridge and enough concrete to build a two-lane highway from New York to Detroit, all going into the ground every single year.

Mary Woodsen, Research Director, Green Burial Council

Mary Woodsen, Research Director, Green Burial Council

The figures from 2002 are staggering: conventional burial uses more than 827 thousand gallons of embalming fluid; over 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete for vaults; more than 90 thousand tons of steel and 27 hundred tons of copper and bronze for caskets; and 14 thousand tons of steel for underground vaults.

Mary Woodsen, a science writer, compiled these statistics by interviewing funeral industry associations, mortuary schools and funeral directors. She estimates that those numbers are on the conservative side, and she has expanded her research to include the impact of cremation.

Mary Woodsen, now Research Director of the Green Burial Council, joins host Gail Rubin on A Good Goodbye Radio on Wednesday, November 20 to discuss green burial and conventional burial.

Topics include:

  • How she obtained her original statistics on conventional burial resource usage
  • Why cremation is not as green as you might think
  • Where people can find information on green disposition options
  • Who are key players in the green burial movement
  • Why green burial funerals help process bereavement and grief

Listen to the podcast:

This program is sponsored by Passages International, leaders in environmentally-friendly and green funeral products, and their educational website, Passages is The Natural Choice® for funeral and burial products that are environmentally friendly and meant to be part of a ritual that aligns with a family’s values and brings them comfort.

A Good Goodbye is an entertaining and educational 60-minute online radio show on “everything you need to know before you go.”  A Good Goodbye covers a wide range of critical information most people don’t consider until there’s a death in the family. Host Gail Rubin brings a light touch to a serious subject and presents expert interviews on funeral planning issues with practical insights into the party no one wants to plan.

By planning ahead and having a conversation, families can reduce stress at a time of grief, minimize family conflict, save money and create a meaningful, memorable “good goodbye.” Sign up for a free planning form and get more information at

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Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®

Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®

Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®, is author of the award-winning book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die. Host of A Good Goodbye television series and Internet radio show, she is also a Certified Celebrant, funeral planning consultant, insurance agent and a popular speaker who uses humor and films to get the funeral planning conversation started. Rubin is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling and the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association. Her website is


A Good Goodbye