Green Burial, Home Burial: A Return to Redbud Hill
This paper uses my own personal journey toward a green home burial as a vehicle for exploring this emerging industry. A recent move across the country prompted me to reflect upon my own burial place. While I have known for years that I would prefer a green burial, the transition from my native Midwest to the Pacific Northwest was a catalyst for anxieties about leaving the familiar for a foreign (to me) landscape. Knowing that my body would one day return to the hills of my childhood provided a strange sense of calm, but a cursory look into the prospects of a home burial on my 18 acres in rural Indiana suggested the logistics were more complicated than I imagined. I learned that Indiana is one of only five states that do not allow home burial, or that have highly restrictive laws governing it. What had promised to be a simple and natural end of life decision spiraled into a bureaucratic labyrinth. Blending insights into the green burial movement with a navigation of my own experience, this paper seeks to demonstrate the environmental and personal benefits of natural burial practices while also unearthing factors that complicate its accessibility.
Bayer, Ellen M., "Green Burial, Home Burial: A Return to Redbud Hill" (2018). SIAS Faculty Publications. 1052.