Samuel A. Teolis, Supervisor | Carmella M. Teolis, Funeral Director

Green Burial

There are many “shades” of green possibilities when planning a green funeral or natural burial, based on your preferences, cemetery capabilities, and local rules and regulations. In a “purist” natural or green burial, the body is buried, without embalming in a natural setting, or embalming with a formaldehyde-free mild solution, which would enable a private or public visitation to remain available. Any shroud or casket that is used must be biodegradable, nontoxic, and of sustainable material. Traditional standing headstones are not permitted. Instead, flat rocks, plants or trees may serve as grave markers. Some cemeteries use GPS to mark the locations of gravesites. A “natural or green burial” may also simply mean burial without embalming, in a biodegradable casket without a vault, when permitted by a cemetery. Green burial is only permitted by cemeteries that do not require the use of a vault, enabling the proper breakdown of the body naturally. Green burial is not limited to just burials, there are also an array of cremation options as well.

These caskets are able to be used for both burial and cremation services. The caskets are fabricated by hand from natural, sustainable resources in small rural communities, making each unique.

These urns are all examples of those that would be biodegradable by earth.

Mulberry Bark Earthurn
The Gord Urn
Bamboo Tribute Urn

These urns are all examples of those that would be biodegradable by means of water.

Shell Urn
Turtle Urn
Momento Urn

Note: When using these urn options simply place the urn on top of the water. The urn will float for a short period and then gracefully descend to the bottom, where it will naturally dissolve

Other Biodegradable and Natural options

Himalayan Apollo Salt Rock

Note: These urns are biodegradable by means of water. Each one is handmade, making no two like pairs.

The Biotree Urn

Note: If this option is chosen, a form will be submitted to the tree provider and a tree suitable for the area in which it will be planted will be provided and incorporated into the urn itself. The cremated remains are then placed in with the soil of the tree.

Green burial cemeteries in our area are limited, the closest one is Oakwood Cemetery in Sharon, PA. This cemetery is a regular cemetery with a subsection dedicated to green burial, they use no chemicals here and do not allow the use of a casket with hazardous metal materials. The other option is Pennforest Natural Burial Park, near Penn Hills which is a 35-acre natural wildlife preserve that allows green burial only.  Feel free to explore the links provided below concerning these green burial cemeteries.


The Samuel Teolis Funeral Home and Crematory Inc., is recognized as an official provider by Greener Funeral and is registered with for its support of environmentally-friendly burials, funerals, and other end of life practices. For any further information on our green burial products and services please feel free to contact us by phone or email.