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What is the most environmentally friendly funeral?

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Published 25/03/2021
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Environmentally friendly funerals such as Green/Woodland Funerals are becoming more popular as people grow more aware of their impact on the environment.

The idea of an eco friendly funeral is to have as little impact as possible on the environment, using less harmful materials for the preparation of the body and also for the burial itself, which usually takes place in designated woodland areas or natural burial grounds.

What makes a funeral eco friendly?

There are many ways that eco friendly funerals differ from traditional funerals.

When preparing the body for a green burial no embalming fluids are used, which prevents harmful chemicals from seeping into the earth. Biodegradable clothing is also used so that it will break down in time.

A biodegradable coffin or shroud is used for the burial, made from natural materials such as recycled paper, wicker, cardboard, and banana leaf.

Gravestones are typically not allowed for green burials, as they would cause an unnatural change to the surrounding environment. However, depending on the burial ground you choose, you may be allowed to place a biodegradable memorial at the location, or in keeping with the green theme of the funeral a tree could be planted in your loved one’s memory.

What are the benefits of a green funeral?

The main benefit of a green funeral is of course that they have less of an impact on the environment than other types of funerals. The whole point is to keep the burial site natural - nature is allowed to flourish, so no weed killers or pesticides are used.

Green funeral sites tend to offer a beautiful place in which to send off your loved one, surrounded by nature. It also means a beautiful place to visit after the funeral - the idea is, rather than visiting an individual burial site, you see the whole place as a memorial to your loved one. As grave markers are seldom used at these sites, it’s sometimes difficult to tell at a glance that they are burial sites at all.

Eco funerals do not follow the set standard of traditional funerals, giving the family more control and flexibility over what they can do to say goodbye to their loved ones.

Another benefit of green funerals is that they can be significantly cheaper than a traditional funeral. The use of sustainable materials means a cheaper coffin that is better for the environment, while natural burial sites don’t tend to incur the same costs as a traditional cemetery.

Thank you for reading, hopefully today’s post has opened your eyes to a type of funeral you may not have thought of before. For more types of funerals, see this post: What different types of funerals are there?
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