It goes without saying that planning a funeral service is not going to be a particularly pleasant experience for anyone to go through. However, it is an eventuality that most people will have to endure that at some point in their lives. Moreover, prior to planning a funeral it really is crucial that you consider the full range of options available to you. An eco funeral, also known as a green funeral, is a suitable tribute to a loved one who had an appreciation for the outdoors and the wide-open countryside. It is also ideal for those who cared greatly about the environment and wanted to protect the earth.
There are a couple of factors to think about when organising the ideal service on behalf of your loved one, especially if they were mindful about the environment. The most eco-friendly funerals take a straightforward approach that is focused on returns the body to the earth, rather than religious aspects. If you are sure that you want a green funeral, it’s a wise choice to go ahead and take out a funeral plan. This will permit you to be totally clear in regards to what you want and how you want the funeral service to play out.
The overall specifications of an eco burial do certainly vary, however, on the whole they require much fewer resources for the organisation of the body to bypass the amount of the traditional steps, making them much more suitable for the environment. As well as this, they can save families lots of additional costs – this is no doubt another additional factor for people.
If you have been to a funeral in the last few years, there is a good chance that is would have been located in a crematorium or within the grounds of a religious establishment. Taking this into consideration, research shows that 71% of people who have organised a funeral in the last five years say that service at a crematorium was a part of the funeral. It’s clear that in the UK, we still often adhere to the traditional premise of a memorial set in the crematorium or church with the focus for the family and loved ones to be involved. However, due to circumstances or perhaps preferences, this is not for everyone and alternatives are out there.
With this in mind, here in this blog, we outline to you, a couple of the ways that you can facilitate a green funeral, also known as a woodland burial.
Here are a few starting points for organising an eco funeral:
- Opt for burial over cremation
- Request refrigeration over embalming
- Use a woodland burial site instead of a council graveyard
- Choose a coffin that uses biodegradable materials
- Consider carpooling with other funeral attendees
- Eco-friendly funerals are best planned in advance, as they may require some research and preparation, however it is certainly possible to create an eco funeral in a couple of days
Uncertain whether to opt for a cremation or burial?
Cremation is often seen as preferable for the environment than burial but this is not necessarily the case. The process of cremating a body releases a whopping 400 kg of CO2 into the air. Not only using gas, a decreasing natural resource, but also creates carbon dioxide, and emitting a large amount of toxic gases into the atmosphere. The final harmful factor of cremation is that the material used in dental fillings often pollute the atmosphere and water sources.
Burial involves a much lighter toll on the environment, but it’s essential to look at the wider perspective. Burial could definitely easily play a part in more carbon dioxide into the environment if the place of burial is located far away, and there will be many plenty of people attempting to reach the location. Normal burial in a typical cemetery is worse for the planet than a natural burial, due to the materials used in constructing the coffin and headstone.
It goes without saying that the most environmentally-friendly option would be a woodland or natural burial ground. There are around 270 places in the UK that offer this. These locations safeguard the natural woodland and offer a home for surrounding flora and fauna. There can be restriction notices to be expected for burial grounds to protect the surrounding nature, however, some sites request for no marker on the gravesite, so you might not need a specific spot marked out to visit your loved one but rather see the overall land as their resting place.
What type of coffin should I opt for?
Another consideration for woodland burial is that you require a biodegradable coffin. This is often cardboard, willow, rattan or bamboo. Cardboard coffins are created from recycled paper and come in a range of colours and designs. You are even able add a personal touch with family, photos and artwork if you choose to.
A classic wooden coffin might be allowed, but this option involves the destruction of trees, much less sustainable than bamboo, for example, which grows quickly. The coffin will not be made with metal or from wood veneer.
Source materials locally
Take time when picking a location, decreasing the amount of petrol used, this will also encourage mourners to carshare. For the funeral, use the services of local businesses as where you are able to, this makes all the difference. Anything from coffins, flowers and catering is just a few things that can be sourced locally to decrease the CO2 impact. You might want to look at each business’s ethical credentials if you can get hold of them.
How will an eco burial cost?
A burial located at a natural plot site can start from a couple of hundred pounds to several thousand pounds, this very much is dependent on the site you choose and where you live in the UK.
Be mindful that as well as the cost of purchasing the woodland burial plot, you may have to pay a gravedigging or interment fee. The way these fees are work can differ between natural burial grounds. Your funeral director will be able to talk you through all the costs involved in arranging a woodland burial.
Some natural burial grounds provide the option of adding a memorial tree to mark your loved one’s passing. The fee of trees may vary depending on the type of tree; for example, an English oak is likely to be more expensive than your standard apple tree.
Remember that the overall fee of a funeral service varies on what other options you opt for, for example, floral tributes, funeral transport and celebrant fees. If you are considering an eco funeral for your loved one, discuss with your funeral director for further information. You will be able to compare funeral directors to find funeral arrangement service near you.
If your loved one cared for the environment, then a woodland burial in Torbay could be the perfect option. Perfect for nature lovers, green burials are designed to limit the impact on the environment, with features such as a beautiful natural setting and a wicker coffin.
Here at Stockman & Loram, we have a range of green burial options for you to choose from across Torbay, Teignbridge and South Hams. We can also come up with a bespoke plan, combining a traditional church burial with an environmentally-friendly coffin, for example, creating a thoughtful and personalised sendoff. Our knowledge of the local area means we know exactly where the most tranquil and beautiful locations are for green burials. Our highly experienced and professional funeral directors in Torbay, will be able to give you all the guidance and support you need to choose the most appropriate ceremony for your loved one. To find out more, please visit our website or get in touch.