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How to have an eco-friendly burial?

In recent years there has been increasing demand for eco-friendly funerals. Known, as an ‘eco-friendly funeral’ or a ‘natural burial’, there are many options available for those wanting an environmentally-friendly funeral. 

Funeral directors worldwide have started to offer green burials and funerals over the last few years. More people are looking to decrease their carbon footprint even in death and now that is a possibility. It makes perfect sense for people to request eco-friendly burials after they’ve passed away, especially if they’ve lived life as a passionate eco warrior. It’s a smart and sentimental way to honour one’s wishes post death, while also being kinder to our planet. 

Why Cremation and Traditional Burials Are Not Environmentally-friendly

Traditional burials require a lot of energy and materials, such as the casket needed to hold the body and the burial ground in which it is deposited. This involves the embalming process, clearing land and the manufacturing a wooden casket. Traditional burials produce a lot of waste and embalming a body requires the use of many harmful chemicals, which are not good for the environment. Bodies are not embalmed for cremations and the procedure produces less waste, making them slightly better. However, cremations use a lot of energy and have a significant carbon footprint, which is why they are not considered an eco-friendly option.

Why Should You Choose an Eco-friendly Funeral?

The interest in zero-waste and conscious living has risen dramatically over the past decade. More and more people are choosing to live environmentally conscious lives and therefore it’s only right that they are given the option to have a green burial. Due to the nature of a funeral, environmental issues such as the carbon footprint, the amount of harmful chemicals used and the unnecessary waste produced are points that are rarely discussed. Yet, unfortunately, they are still valid issues that we should work towards overcoming. 

Eco-friendly burials are a practical option for those who desire a personalised and intimate service that is far better for the environment. Ethical funerals are just as sophisticated and are conducted in a way that does not disrespect the diseased. By opting for a green burial in favour of a traditional burial or cremation, you’re not losing out on any of the normal funeral procedures. If anything, the funeral can be more customised, focusing on stories and contributions from your loved ones in a nice location.

What is an Eco-friendly Funeral?

An eco-friendly funeral involves less waste than a traditional burial and does not utilise harmful chemicals. Between the stages of preparing the body and the final disposition, much waste and nasty chemicals are used in the process. There is then the funeral service and the wake, both of which use up more energy and produce unnecessary waste. Whereas an eco-friendly burial on the other hand, offers you a more natural setting for the memorial service with less impact on the planet.

Currently, there are 3 available ethical funeral options:

  1. A green burial in a cemetery or memorial ground
  2. A green burial in your garden, home land or on private land.
  3. A green burial in a woodland area

Here are some top tips on how to have a burial that is as eco-friendly as possible:

  • Don’t embalm the body
  • Choose a green burial instead of cremation or a traditional burial
  • Use natural materials for the casket, such as shroud or a biodegradable coffin 
  • Choose a green cemetery or natural burial site for burying the diseased
  • Minimise travel where possible
  • Keep the ceremony simple and waste-free
  • Hold a small ceremony at the burial site
  • Plant a tree or flowers instead of placing a headstone or memorial plaque at the burial plot

What Are Green Burials?

Green burials are also known as natural burials. They are kinder to the environment and have the smallest possible carbon footprint. Instead of the body being placed in a traditional coffin which isn’t eco-friendly, the body can either be wrapped in simple shroud or buried in a biodegradable casket, made from natural materials. Bodies are not embalmed for green burials because of the toxic chemicals used in the procedure. The body is then committed to the ground during a small ceremony. Depending on the green-funeral location, you may be allowed to place a biodegradable memorial plaque over the plot where the body is buried. Although doesn’t apply for all green burial locations. Sometimes a plaque – even if biodegradable, is not permitted so as not to disrupt the land.  

What Are Woodland Burials?

Woodland burials are a little different from green or natural burials. As the name suggests, woodland burials are set in wooded areas, set among trees and wildflowers. These locations provide a tranquil setting for families to hold the ceremony and burial. If a cremation has already taken place, you can use the woodland burial grounds to scatter the ashes. This gives families and friends somewhere to come back to in order to pay their respects.

How Much Does an Eco-friendly Funeral Cost?

An added advantage of eco-friendly funerals is the cost. Ethical funerals work out much cheaper than traditional burials because they are kept simple and modest. If you’re planning on having a green burial you will still need to purchase a burial plot and the biodegradable casket or other burial materials. Green burial plots and eco-friendly coffins vary in price depending on the size, location and materials used. You might also want to consider an eco burial for financial reasons. Green and woodland burials give you the opportunity to simplify a funeral, meaning that they can be significantly cheaper. Eco funerals typically cost in the region of a few hundred pounds up to about one thousand pounds. 

How Can I Arrange an Eco-friendly Burial?

There are many eco burial locations and funeral directors across the world now. In the UK alone there are ethical burial plots scattered all over the country. To arrange an eco-friendly burial, it is best to start by completing your Advanced Dashboard Planning and organise the funeral directly within the Ceremony of life category of your dashboard. Once completed, you can contact us at [email protected] and we can do the rest. We have a network of eco-friendly funeral directors across UK so we should be in a good place to offer you not only a good deal but the best tailored plan that suits your needs. Don't wait it's too late and start with Kwaetus.

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