Why are green funerals growing in popularity in the UK?

As we head further into 2022, energy bills are rising and we’ve gone through one of the hottest summers on record, more of us than ever are becoming aware of our environmental impact. This is something that stretches through all aspects of our lives and beyond, with green funerals increasing rapidly in popularity year on year. Favoured for their reduced impact on the environment, lower costs and contribution to natural resource conservation, there are many reasons green funerals are growing in popularity in the UK. Here we take a more in-depth look at why this is.

What is a green funeral?

A green funeral is designed to minimise environmental impact as much as possible. It allows the body to be naturally recycled back into the earth and doesn't use anything that could be harmful to the environment around it.

There is more awareness of the environment

The state of our environment and the impact of global warming has become an increasingly hot topic in our media, particularly over the past decade or so. As the population grows and the effects of global warming can be seen, it has more of us becoming aware and attuned to what an impact we can all have on the world around us. Platforms such as social media and blogs give everyone a voice and make it easier than ever to share information, getting it in front of a wider audience. While our carbon footprint might have been easy enough to not think about in the past, we are now forced to read and hear about it on a much more frequent and wider scale. Green burials are much better for the environment in the way they don't use embalming chemicals or other non-biodegradable materials. They don’t release toxins into the air and instead biodegrade back into the environment, contributing back to the ecosystem.

It’s easier than ever to find out information and weigh up options

In the past, information about green funerals was hard to find and you’d need to pick up a leaflet, book or read limited online resources. Fast forward to the present day and there are so many different places you can find information regarding green funerals. This not only makes it easier than ever to make an informed decision but also helps others discover the benefits of green funerals and what they can do to help the environment. According to NFDA’s 2022 Consumer Awareness and Preferences Report, 60.5% of people are interested in exploring “green” funeral options because of their potential environmental benefits, cost savings or for some other reason, up from 55.7% in 2021. 

It’s more economical

We are living in hard times and with funeral costs becoming ever more expensive, it has people turning to alternative methods. Green funerals are cheaper as they don't involve many of the traditional funeral costs such as caskets, vaults, headstones and embalming. With the average funeral cost in the UK for a burial using a funeral director being £4,383 and cremation using a funeral director £3,290 it is a big cost that many simply can't afford. Losing a loved one is hard enough without the additional stress to get together large sums of money on top for their funeral.

Natural habitats are conserved 

There are more green burial sites in the UK than ever and they focus heavily on preserving the natural environment around them. Designed to provide a beautiful and peaceful place of rest that doesn't disturb natural wildlife, they are large, green spaces that are dedicated specifically for green burials. Many choose wooden plaques to mark where their loved one is buried as this is kinder to the environment, while some choose to plant a tree or flower to mark the spot.

It can feel like a nicer way to say goodbye to your loved one

Funerals can sometimes feel very final and be traumatic for a lot of people. With a green burial, it doesn’t feel so much that your loved one is “gone.” If you choose an option such as a water burial with a scattering urn or a memorial tree, it can feel more like your loved one is still there around you. With a tree burial you have a living thing you can visit and feel close to them and with a water burial, you can feel they will always be out there somewhere.

Green funerals can be a really lovely way to say goodbye to a loved one. If you have any questions about green funerals or want to find out more about them, The Living Urn is here to help. Get in touch with us via our website here.