Green Funerals: A Guide to Eco Friendly Funerals

Eco friendly funerals are a last opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint as well as a last chance to make a positive impact on the world we leave behind. However, there is much debate within the green movement about what constitutes green or eco friendly funerals. There are many choices to be made in the planning of an eco friendly funeral and some of them may include which has the least, as opposed to no, impact on the environment.

Are Eco Friendly Funerals Affordable?
Many people are surprised to know that green funerals are much more affordable than conventional ones. Eliminating unnecessary processes and choosing earth friendly funeral products significantly reduces the cost of a funeral, not only leaving less impact on the environment, but less burden on loved ones as well.

Choices in Eco Friendly Funerals
One of the first choices in planning an eco friendly funeral is the decision to be buried or cremated. There are many assumptions made about which leaves the lesser impact, but each has both positive and negative points. For example, cremation can be a positive choice because it eliminates the use of toxic chemicals in the preservation of the body which eventually escape into the environment. However, though the industry has done much to reduce toxic emissions, the process can cause environmental damage in the smoke and toxins released into the air. Conventional burials are also a concern with the use of embalming fluids, caskets made from non- biodegradable materials, and cement burial chambers.

When making your decision, it is important to know what is available. Consider these eco friendly funeral choices:
  • Whether or not to embalm is a choice in most states. Though not embalming will necessitate a sooner burial, it will also cause less environmental damage. Be certain to check if the cemetery allows non embalmed remains.
  • Burial chambers are also a choice in most states and can avoid putting unnecessary cement in the ground. Be certain to check with the cemetery to see if you can opt out on this.
  • There are many choices in eco friendly burial containers, from simple pine coffins to recycled cardboard containers which have been beautifully decorated.
  • For cremation, there are biodegradable urns, as well as recycled paper spreaders which float beautifully on the water for a moment before being committed to the sea. Many memorial reefs have also been created to have remains not only become part of, but add value to the environment.
Make Others Aware of Your Choices
If it is your desire to have a green funeral, it is best to put the plans in place ahead of time. There are many things about the availability of green products that, were you not to plan ahead, the one left to make arrangements may be unaware. When pre-planning an eco friendly funeral, remember these things:
Create a living will to make your wishes and desires known
  • Note your desire for either cremation or burial
  • Have a list available of eco friendly burial containers
  • Make family or friends aware of any funeral homes and cemeteries that specialize in green funeral planning
As more and more people become aware of the advantages of eco friendly funerals, more products and choices will become available. Green burials use less energy, create less waste, cost less and create a lasting positive impact on the environment.