How to Plan an Environmentally Friendly Funeral

As the planet we inhabit faces its many challenges, many people are asking themselves what part they can play in helping the environment. While some have dedicated themselves to lessening their carbon footprint with steps such as driving only on certain days and others have cut out single-use plastics, many people are still considering how their life can make an impact on our planet for the better. One way to be environmentally thoughtful is how you decide to plan your burial service or funeral. Read on for helpful suggestions for how to plan an eco-friendly funeral.

How to Plan an Eco Friendly Funeral

Rethink Printed Funeral Programs

Some people may argue that the impact of something as simple as a printed funeral program, in the face of larger environmental issues, doesn’t make a real difference. However, making small changes every day can make a positive impact on our planet’s future. While it may have been more traditional practice for funeral programs to be printed on paper for a single use there are many other ways to provide a program to those present. A QR code is just one way people might look up a funeral program on their phone. Of course, some folks might not be as savvy as others with technology, so you might also consider a large bulletin or digital screen to project the funeral program.

In Lieu of Flowers …

Flowers are traditionally brought to funerals to leave upon the resting place of the person who has passed on. However, in more recent years, some people have swayed away from giving or receiving flowers, often using the phrase “in lieu of flowers, please give…” If you perhaps consider yourself an activist for the environment, a funeral can be a great way to engage people in the act of charitable giving to a foundation of your choice, or on behalf of a loved one who has passed. In lieu of flowers, you might pick your favorite eco-centered foundation to have people donate to. This can be a wonderful way to give back, even for those who may have already passed on.

Choose Cremation

In recent years, cremation has become the second most popular burial option behind traditional burial. You could say it has become especially popular with people who are hoping to be more environmentally sensitive. While traditional burial is still incredibly popular, this can sometimes be more expensive due to the price of caskets and available space. In comparison, cremation urns can be a far more affordable option. You might also choose to have your ashes interred in a traditional gravesite, be scattered at sea or in a memorial garden. Overall, the environmental impact of choosing cremation over burial can be significant.

Consider Natural Burial or Tree Burial

Natural burial is perhaps the most environmentally friendly burial option. Rather than being interred in a casket, a natural burial involves placing the departed in a biodegradable container such as a linen shroud or cardboard container. No embalming fluid is used so there’s no risk of contaminating the groundwater. Graves are often marked by natural stones so that the local environmental impact is minimized and the local ecology can continue to thrive and flourish untouched. Some people may also decide to wear a special mushroom suit, which will eventually turn the departed into earth-nourishing mushrooms. Others may decide on a tree burial or tree pod, giving back to the planet that supported them during their lifetime. All of these natural burial options present beautiful ways to celebrate a life lived in an impactful way while reducing your impact on the environment.

Planning an environmentally conscious funeral can be a beautiful way to preserve your legacy as someone who was passionate about the health of the earth. Whether you make a small adjustment in planning (using QR codes or setting up donations to charities) or a large and defining decision (choosing cremation or natural burial), know that your heart is in the right place. Please remember that there is no “right way” to be buried or celebrated. You aren’t going to disappoint anybody by being buried in the way that you want. These are suggestions, not rules. We hope these ideas will help you decide how to plan an eco-friendly funeral.

We want to help you make the best decisions for you and your family to celebrate the memory of a life lived. If you have any questions about our cemetery, funeral home or cremation services, please contact us.


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