Green burial is in keeping with the Quaker tradition of simplicity and environmental sustainability. It allows the grave site a complete return to nature. Either a biodegradable coffin or a shroud can be used and a flat stone or other natural object can mark the grave. Note: The cremation process releases mercury and other toxins. However, ashes may be accepted as a non-conforming exception.
To make arrangements for a Green Burial, Friends, attenders or extended family members may follow the information provided below:
Call the clerk of Columbia Friends (listed on web page) to decide on the location for burial.
Death at home, no hospice: call 911. An ambulance will come. The body will be taken to the morgue at Prisma Richland where a Burial-Removal-Transit (BRT) will be issued. It will name the person acting as funeral director. Go to DHEC Office of Vital Statistics, within 5 days, where staff will work with family to issue a Death Certificate. (Medical certification by the physician or APRN (Advanced Practice Register Nurse) must be completed and returned to the funeral director within forty-eight (48) hours after being notified of the death by the physician or APRN and/or coroner.)
A form provided online at the DHEC website, “South Carolina Certificate of Death Non-Funeral Home Worksheet,” could be completed ahead of time for an expected death and could also be used for a sudden death. This would provide the necessary information for the funeral director, i.e. designated family member, to start the process to complete a Death Certificate.
Death at home with hospice: The hospice nurse and/or doctor will assess the death. The coroner’s office should be contacted to transport the body to a morgue where a BRT will be issued in the same manner as above. It is possible for a green burial that the coroner would allow the body to be kept at home until a burial that will happen soon after the death.
Death in hospital: body stays in their morgue until transported for burial. The personnel are on hand to complete the BRT.
Grave preparation: Two companies with proper equipment for digging a grave said they would be glad to be on a list: Green Solutions, Chris Walker, 803-518- 4686; Ray Cruz (in pool business), 803-629-1833. However, in a number of years this would be out-of-date info. Call a landscape company with equipment for digging.