The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) is developing plans to offer coffin-free “natural” burials in state parks for those wishing to return to dust au naturale.
“I have never liked the idea of being pumped full of formaldehyde and stuffed in a plastic box,” said Ted Hollingsworth, director of land conservation at TPWD. “I never have, so I could see being a participant at some point.
“Typically, it involves burial in a wooden box or a cardboard box or a canvas shroud, with no chemicals. No embalming or other fluids.”
Hollingsworth said the agency began a trial agreement with the Green Burial Council in 2009 to become the first state government in the nation to be involved in such a partnership. That agreement has since expired, but the two groups remain in talks for the future.
During that time, Hollingsworth said Texans have shown plenty of interest in green burials. Conservation and “returning to nature” are the answers he hears most.