When it comes to funerals, many people think that the only way to go is with a casket. However, this is not the case in North Carolina. There are several ways to plan a burial without a casket. Whether you are making funeral arrangements for yourself or a loved one, we can help you find the best way forward. Let’s explore ways you can be buried without a casket in North Carolina.

Benefits of Burial Without a Casket

If you are interested in being buried without a casket, there are several benefits that you may want to consider. First of all, it can be a more affordable option. Eliminating the cost of a casket can help to reduce expenses.

Additionally, some people feel it is more natural to choose a burial without a casket. It can provide a greater sense of connection to the earth and is more environmentally friendly.

Burial Options Without a Casket

You can be buried without a casket in North Carolina in several different ways.

One option is cremation followed by burial. Cremation is a choice for many people, and a direct funeral home crematory can do it without using a casket. Look for a funeral home that offers direct cremation at its site for the best service and pricing.

Another option is Green Burial, where the burial happens without a casket or vault. Burial can occur in a natural setting such as a forest or meadow. With a green burial you can always choose to forgo embalming.

Additionally, many people choose to have their ashes scattered after cremation. You can select a place significant to you or someone who has died and beautifully honor their life. 

Another option for cremation ashes “cremains” is to consider ordering items made with the cremains. Many companies make jewelry or other items of sentimental value from burial ashes.

Considering All the Angles

If you are trying to decide whether or not to be buried without a casket, there are several factors that you will want to consider. First of all, think about your budget and what you can afford. Eliminating the cost of a casket can help to reduce expenses.

Additionally, think about your personal beliefs and what you feel comfortable with. Some people feel it is more natural to be buried without a casket, while others prefer the traditional option of a casket burial.

When choosing what to do for a loved one, consider their personal beliefs and desires before making a final decision.

Choosing a Burial Place

In North Carolina, it is not illegal to let your burial take place on private land. However, there are some things that you will need to take into consideration before making this decision.

First, you will need to ensure that the land is large enough to accommodate a burial. At least two acres of land is advisable if you want to bury someone without a casket. You will need at least one acre if you are planning on cremating the body first.

Additionally, you will need to ensure that the land zoning allows this type of activity. You can check with your local zoning office to determine if the local government allows burial on the land in question.

Additionally, you will need to ensure that the land is not in a floodplain or subject to any other kind of natural disaster. You will also need to get permission from the land owner before you can bury someone there.

Another consideration is whether or not this property may be sold. It may be something that a prospective buyer does not want to assume ownership of-that is-someone buried on the property.

Please don’t get the idea that you can take someone out into a field somewhere and just bury them. There is a whole lot more that goes into that. You must follow municipality procedures in order to bury someone on your own. It can be done, but the due process of law must be followed.

If you are looking for a more traditional burial option, all funeral homes in North Carolina offer casket burials. However, if you are interested in burial without a casket, you’ll need a cemetery or land that permits “green burials.”

Green Burial Cemeteries

If you plan on having a green burial, you may also want to consider finding a place already set up for this type of internment. There are several green burial sites located throughout North Carolina, and they can provide a beautiful and natural setting for your loved one’s final resting. 

For a green burial, you may choose to have your body wrapped in cloth or use a biodegradable container. Green Burials are permitted in specific sections of cemeteries. Several cemeteries offer green burial options, including these:

  • Historic Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh:  This cemetery offers both traditional casket burials and green burials and has a beautiful section dedicated entirely to green burials.
  • Pine Forest Memorial Gardens in Wake Forest: This cemetery offers a variety of burial options, including casket burials, mausoleum entombments, and scattering gardens.
  • Carolina Memorial Sanctuary in Mills River: This sanctuary dedicates itself to natural burial options. They offer everything from simple gravesites to full-service funerals.
  • Bluestem Conservation Cemetery: A place of reverence, in a nature preserve with native grassland restoration, a trail network and quiet areas for reflection.

It’s Up to You

Deciding to be buried without a casket is a personal one. You will need to consider many factors before making your decision. However, if you choose burial without a casket, several funeral homes and cemeteries in North Carolina can accommodate your needs. With a bit of research, you can find the perfect place to rest in peace.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing whether or not to be buried without a casket. It is a personal decision, and you should select the option that feels right for you.

We Can Help

At Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory, we offer direct cremation services in addition to green burial options. Contact us today if you are interested in learning more about North Carolina’s burial options. We would be happy to answer any questions that you may have. 


If you need help making funeral arrangements in North Carolina, our team can assist you in making a preplan for yourself or planning the services of a loved one. We work with you to understand your needs and preferences and help you make the best choices for your situation. Contact us today to get started.