Everything You Need to Know About Green Funerals
As more and more people are becoming concerned about their carbon footprint and the impact they have on the earth, green funerals are becoming increasingly popular. They are a less harmful or wasteful way to bury a loved one. Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is a Green Funeral?
Green funerals have little impact on the environment. This means there is no embalming using harmful chemicals and no cremation that produces emissions. Instead, green funerals feature a natural burial and a natural site. These burial options often include:
- A natural burial in a memorial ground or cemetery
- A natural burial in a woodland
- A natural burial in your home or on private land
A person is usually buried in a natural coffin or even sometimes just wrapped in a simple shroud.
What Happens at A Green Funeral?
At a green funeral, the body is committed to the ground with a small service. Some burial grounds allow you to have a simple, biodegradable memorial placed in the location, however, some may not allow any kind of memorial in order to leave no trace on the land.
Woodland burial plots are generally set amongst trees and wildflowers which provides a nice setting for families to bury their loved ones, and this is a great way to leave some form of memorial.
How Do I Plan a Green Funeral?
If you’re planning an eco-friendly funeral, there are a number of options you should consider to be as eco-friendly as possible. Such as:
Do your research on eco-friendly coffins and shrouds. A biodegradable coffin reduces carbon emissions by 50%. There is a range of options available including cardboard, bamboo, willow, banana leaf, rattan, wool and more.
Talk to The Burial Site Owner
The owner of the green burial site will be able to talk you through your options and the funeral services they can offer. You may want to hire a nearby venue for the service or have a small graveside service. You can discuss your options and your preferences, and the burial site owner may even help you find the best spot for your loved one.
Keep It Simple
To arrange a truly eco-friendly funeral, it may not be wise to order extras like an order of service cards. Alternatively, printing the order of service on recycled paper or on display on a chalkboard at the entrance will help cut down on resources.
Choose Flowers Carefully
If you’re organising flowers for the funeral service you should check with the burial site owner if there are any rules regarding flowers. Some may not allow flower displays or memorial trees to be planted at all.
Is Cremation Eco-Friendly?
Although cremation is more eco-friendly than a traditional burial, it still has a significant carbon footprint as cremations use a lot of energy. However, this may change as we start to see more electric cremators which use renewable energy.
To make the cremation more eco-friendly, you can ensure no harmful chemicals are used during the embalming process before cremation. There is also less waste when no casket or burial ground is needed.
Are Green Funerals Cheaper?
Because of the simplicity of eco-friendly funerals, they can work out cheaper than traditional funeral services. You will still need to buy a burial plot, but this can vary in price depending on the location. A natural coffin may also be more expensive than a traditional coffin, but this depends on the materials used. Speak to your local funeral director to work out the cost of your green funeral.
Why Have a Green Funeral?
Green funerals can significantly reduce your carbon footprint as they use fewer natural resources and fossil fuels compared to traditional burial or cremation. The body is also allowed to naturally decompose and return to the earth with no gravestones or unnatural materials to disturb the surrounding habitat.
Green funerals are also much cheaper due to the lack of embalming, and natural coffins. The lack of flowers will also make a huge impact on the cost.