Funerals in the U.S. used to be fairly uniform affairs. What happened to people's remains after they passed away did not vary much between regions or religious persuasions. Most were embalmed and placed in an ornate coffin that was lowered into the ground or put in a mausoleum. The other option was cremation.
Today, however, people are beginning to rethink the process. This is in part because funerals have become very expensive. Another reason is that many people just want to do something different.
That something different is to have their remains handled in an “environmentally friendly” way, as The New York Times reports in "Thinking About Having a 'Green' Funeral? Here's What to Know."
A green funeral can mean several different things. It is an umbrella term that covers several different practices available. Some people choose not to have their body embalmed, so the chemicals will not seep into the ground. Green funerals also often allow people to be buried in plain wooden boxes that will eventually biodegrade. Other people choose not to have a coffin at all, but instead decide to be buried in a simple cloth shroud.
The key thing to keep in mind is to make plans now for what will happen to you after you pass away. The options are available for a green funeral or a more traditional one.
Reference: New York Times (March 22, 2018) "What It Was Like To Finally Write My Will."