Green Burials, Natural Burials: The Eco Friendly Way

As the years go by, we are becoming more aware of how the everyday things we do can affect the environment. This has resulted in us adapting our daily activities to help the planet in a more positive way. If you take a quick step back and look around, you’ll see more electric cars on the road, better incentives to recycle and active campaigns designed to reduce waste. As well as these more conventional methods of becoming more ecologically conscious, people are branching out to reduce their carbon footprint in other ways too - including the way they bury a loved one who has passed. More people than ever are turning to an Eco-friendly funeral and here we explore exactly what it is and what’s involved.

What makes an eco-friendly burial?

If your loved one was very conscious of the environment and lived an eco-friendly life, then it may be of their wishes that you conduct an eco-friendly burial for them. An eco-friendly (also known as a green burial or a natural burial) is environmentally friendly as the idea is to have as minimal impact on the earth as possible. Throughout the whole process, the products and materials used will be biodegradable, in order to not cause any harm to the environment. 

In a traditional funeral, when burying your loved one you will have the option to have them cremated or buried in an environmentally-unfriendly coffin. With a green funeral, your loved one will be placed in a specially designed coffin that is biodegradable and will decompose naturally leaving no trace and therefore no damage to the environment. 

There are a few different ways in which you can organise a green funeral, however you will find similarities between the methods. This is due to keeping within the purpose of making sure the funeral achieves the lowest environmental impact possible. As mentioned above, a specially designed biodegradable coffin will be used. Items that won’t be used include things like embalming fluids, non-biodegradable clothes and materials, cement vaults or metal coffin vaults. The reason embalming fluids are not allowed is because of the chemicals which are involved in the process. Instead, chemical-free embalming oils that degrade without leaving anything behind are used. The other materials all take a long time to break down and also cause harm to the environment during their creation process.

Where can I have an eco funeral?

When planning an eco funeral, it’s always advised that you contact your local funeral director as they should be able to support you and give you the best advice. Typically, within your local area, there will be specially designated woodland or a natural burial ground where you can lay your loved one to rest. 

Woodland burial plots are surrounded by nature. You can expect trees flourishing and flowers blooming, a peaceful place within the wilderness to commemorate your loved one. Traditional headstones are not used within a woodland burial plot. Instead, a natural memorial, like a  simple bronze or wooden plaque, is used or a specific tree is planted to mark the area where your loved one is buried. 

How much do green funerals cost?

The costs to bury your loved one at a natural or woodland burial ground can change depending on many factors. On average you can expect to pay anywhere between a few hundred pounds to several thousand.  Your location, the area of plot you choose, the site you choose are all elements that could change the prices. Before making any decisions, speak to your local funeral director as they will be able to give you the exact costs for different locations. 

If you are looking for an eco-friendly funeral be sure to look at our range of eco-friendly urns such our patent-pending Eco Burial Urn designed to leave minimal impact on the environment. Made from bamboo, a sustainable resource, itc can be buried in a natural burial cemetery or somewhere that holds meaning for you and your loved one. It can also simply be placed in your home such as on your mantle or bookshelf where you can feel closer to the person who has passed.

To find out more about eco funerals and our Eco Burial Urn, please get in touch with us at the Living Urn today, we would love to help.