Traditional funerals often involve a motorcade, lots of flowers, an expensive coffin, and services with hundreds of people, all of whom used a lot of time, money and energy to get there. But many people are now wondering whether this use of resources is beneficial. All they want is a simple funeral that also takes care of the planet.
That’s where “green” funerals come in. These attempt to reduce the impact of ceremonies on the environment through various methods, depending on the funeral director.
As you might expect, green funerals are naturally no-frills compared to traditional ceremonies. They may eschew traditional items, such as flowers, reducing costs even further.
Figures reveal that people are more interested in green funerals than ever before – both individuals and cemeteries are reporting increasing demand. So, exactly what is a green funeral? Let’s find out.
Green Burials: The Specifics
Green burials tend to forgo embalming and concrete vaults and, instead, embrace more natural methods. Mourners can make decisions at every step to minimise their carbon footprint, eliminate waste and reduce the impact on the local environment.
Funeral directors leave it up to customers to determine how green they want their funerals to be. For example, flowers are worth it for some, but for others, they aren’t.
Why Do People Get Green Funerals?
Green burials offer many benefits, which explains in part why they are becoming increasingly popular. At present, there are three main reasons why people choose a green funeral over a traditional one. Let’s explore these in more depth:
The first reason is the cost. Embalming and coffin fees can be high. It’s not uncommon for families to spend in excess of £5,000 on these items. But with green funerals, you can often replace these with eco-friendly options or scrap them entirely, reducing the cost further.
Second, people get green burials to reduce their environmental impact. They don’t like the idea that their actions could harm nature after they are gone, so they make arrangements to prevent it.
Lastly, there is the legacy that green funerals offer. Once people are buried in nature, it becomes consecrated grounds. Therefore, it is unlikely to see any building development, helping to protect the environment. It can be a wonderful conservation method.
Don’t All Bodies Require Embalming After Death?
Embalming is a central element in traditional funerals. And for many people, it seems necessary for public health. The chemical process preserves the body, preventing it from decaying in the first few weeks after death.
However, that’s not actually true. The main reason for the procedure is to make the body look as it appeared at the moment of death for the benefit of the mourners, particularly if the body is lying in state. Funeral directors use the technique to prevent bad smells and eliminate the risk of visible decay which some people might find distressing.
However, with green funerals, you can avoid this step. Most green funerals use cremation because it saves on wood, steel and concrete. And because of this, embalming isn’t necessary, particularly if the body is processed quickly.
Green burials are becoming a fast-growing movement. People want to minimise resource use and protect the planet for future generations to enjoy.
If you’d like a green funeral in the event of your death, Stockman & Loram can help you make all the arrangements in advance with a pre-paid funeral plan. Alternatively, if your recently deceased loved one requested an eco-friendly funeral or you believe it’s what they would have wanted, our green funeral services can help bring this to fruition. Get in touch today to discuss the options on offer.