Saying Goodbye to a Loved One

Are You Worried About the Environmental Impact of Your Funeral?

If you worry about the environmental damage your lifestyle could be causing, there are many changes that you can make to lower your carbon footprint. You can reduce the number of vehicle journeys that you make. You might decide you purchase locally grown produce and reduce your dependence on fossil fuels and electrical power. Whatever changes you make, there will always be more you can do. One way of increasing your commitment to a low impact lifestyle is ensuring that your death does not adversely affect the environment. Green funerals are a great way to maintain a commitment to an environmental lifestyle, even after your life has ended.

What are green funerals?

There are many ways to make a funeral greener. You must select the elements of the funeral which appeal to you and fit in with your wishes. You might choose to be dressed in biodegradable clothing or to use a green casket, coffin or shroud. You could even choose to be buried without the use of disinfectants or chemical preservatives. The burial could take place at a green burial site, or you could request that be no headstone used, or perhaps have a green headstone instead. Most green funerals will have some or all of these elements included.

Why not cremation?

If you understand that a traditional burial contains many elements that will negatively impact the environment, you might believe that cremation is a better option. Sadly, while cremation avoids some of the problems associated with burial, it is far from being environmentally friendly. A cremation takes around 75 minutes to complete and involves burning a body at a temperature of about  800 to 1000 degrees Celsius. The amount of energy required to burn a body in that way is about the same that a single person will use during a whole month. By contrast, green funerals will involve far less energy, and impact the environment far less.

Have you thought about using a green burial site?

A traditional coffin could take many decades to decompose in the ground. During that time, any veneers and metal fittings will be seeping into the soil, creating long-term contamination. Many green funerals will use green coffins made of recycled or natural materials that will not harm the environment as they rot away. Using a green coffin opens the possibility of being buried in a natural burial site or a green cemetery that will not use heavy earthmoving equipment.