Plymouth: Burial in a Cardboard Box, Maybe a Green Idea Whose Time Has Come

So how about being buried in a cardboard box—a biodegradable one, of course—and that’s to preserve our natural environment. This, is what green burial is all about. And folks can learn more today at a symposium at the Chiltonville Congregational Church in Plymouth. One of the speakers, along with representatives from Green Burial Massachusetts, is the town’s public health director…

Dr. Nate Horwitz-Willis says there are environmental concerns related to traditional burial, not only because coffins containing metal, can leak into the ground as they break down, but also the use of embalming fluid:

“The use of embalming fluid has been contentious for many, many years because the chemical in embalming fluid, specifically formaldehyde, has been shown to be a cancerous agent and that is something of concern that has to be handled very carefully.”

Green burial excludes embalming:

“There is no embalming at all involved in green burial. However you are encouraged in green burial to use precautionary measures to protect yourself from any type of infectious diseases or agents. But from there on, there really is no other risk when we’re talking about putting the body into the earth.”

Right now there is no cemetery in Plymouth or in the state specifically for green burial:

“So, we could potentially be the first municipality to spearhead this effort.”

The day-long Green Burial conference is today from 9:30 AM to 3 PM. Tickets are available at the door.

For more information about Green Burial go to


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About Bobbi Clark

Bobbi Clark is a Plymouth area reporter at WATD. She began her career in radio as a producer at a news/talk radio station in Chicago. From there she went to WMAQ-TV, the NBC owned and operated television station in Chicago, As a producer there, she won 5 Emmy Awards for production of special programming. Bobbi is a graduate of Emerson College, with a degree in Writing, Publishing and Literature.