Five Green Funeral Ideas

Aug. 20, 2019, 1:49 p.m.

What constitutes a green or eco funeral? I’m worried about climate change and the environment and do my best in my life to live a sustainable and conscious life. But what about in death? How do I minimise the environmental impact of my funeral?

What is an eco funeral?

Otherwise known as a natural funeral or green burial it seeks to minimise the impact on the environment and in an ideal world actually help support the natural world and wildlife.

Here are five things I’ve discovered about making my final journey green.

1.       The wrapping – coffins or something else?

You don’t have to be buried in an expensive traditional coffin if you don’t want to. We’ve found some fabulous alternatives.

Bellacouche make beautiful fully biodegradable soft felt eco-coffins. The leaf cocoon is soft, pretty and environmentally friendly.  Or how about William Warren’s shelves for life? When you die, these beautiful shelves can become your coffin, and in life they are perfect for bookshelves or just about anything. Great idea!
Greenfield coffins  do a splendid range of cardboard coffins which are kinder to the environment and they can be personalised too.
Actor Luke Perry was recently buried in a mushroom suit, we found these infinity burial suit’s by Coeio which delivers nutrients from the body to surrounding plants.

2.       The wake and food and drink

Funerals can be an expensive business and that includes the wake or gathering you may choose to have after the funeral. One way in which you can help to support the environment is to go meat free. Or think about cutting down food miles and buying local food. The campaign for the rural environment has a great checklist to help you.
Viva, a vegan organisation has tips on where to shop for vegan food as well as recipes.
Or how about supporting a micro-brewery? British beers attempts to list all that are available!

3.       Trees, plants or flowers

Cut flowers are beautiful, but they aren’t always the most environmentally friendly option. You could choose to plant a tree instead in memory of your loved one. The national forest organisation  has a list of trees that you can choose and is a lovely way to remember an eco-conscious loved one.
The Woodland Trust also have a space for dedicating a memory by planting trees or woodland.
Flowers grown locally can be another lovely option and is kinder to the planet than standard cut flowers which have often travelled miles to reach their destination. The Sussex Cutting Garden for example has British home grown funeral flowers. 
The Flower Room also have a range of eco funeral flowers delivered with no wire, foam or plastic.

 4.       Resomation

Resomation is water burial and seen as a greener alternative. This natural process uses water to break down the body instead of flames making it a gentler option. Although it isn’t available in the UK yet, plans are afoot. The Funeral Guide explains more. 

5.       Cremation – what next?

If you do decide to be cremated, there are some good eco-options for your ashes. Bio urns, is one such example. Described as a ‘catalyst for life’ and made with 100% biodegradable materials. The clever urn turns ashes into trees. If you are more of a sea lover, how about Eternal Reefs.  Their reef balls encourage and support marine life.

We’ll have five more eco funeral considerations coming soon. What would you add to your funeral plan?

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