How to Make a Funeral Environmentally Friendly

Planning the preparations for the death of a loved one is no easy process, but there are now many options available to suit every financial need and preference. While procuring money for medical bills of an ailing one is sure to be on anyone’s list of priorities, going green with your funeral expenses also concerns some eco minded individuals.


There are many reasons why environmentally friendly options are becoming more appealing. For example, land is becoming more and more scarce. Cemeteries require large plots of land, where they must tend to old graves as well as the new. These vast expanses of land cannot be used for valuable agriculture, industry, or housing.

In turn, this also makes burial plots more expensive as time passes. In addition, funeral costs can be expensive, so much so that families often find themselves floundering under the expenses while handling the debts of the deceased. This leads many to pursue alternative financing options, like funeral insurance from

Going green in your funeral or the funeral of a loved one can cut down on costs and provide benefits to the earth. Below are a few ways you can make a funeral more environmentally friendly.

Choose a Decomposable Casket

Still want to go for a traditional burial? Another reason more people are going green has to do with the unsustainable materials used in the burial process. Namely, burial caskets are made of dense materials that take anywhere from hundreds to thousands of years to decompose.

The principal materials that make up some of the most expensive caskets are hardwood and metal. These materials take the longest time to decompose, which essentially makes cemeteries equivalent to landfills. Instead, opt for a sustainable and biodegradable option. Eco-friendly caskets decompose into the ground and provide nourishment for the soil.

These caskets are made out of materials such as bamboo, which is the most sustainable and fastest growing wood resource on the planet. You can also get caskets woven from seagrass, willow, and even wool. You may be surprised—these caskets are beautifully crafted so that you or your family can appreciate a well-crafted case for the deceased.

Forego Embalming

Embalming is a process in which the mortuary preserves the body using a cocktail of chemicals including formaldehyde, ethanol, methanol, and other solvents. Formaldehyde in particular is considered a carcinogen known for encouraging the growth of cancer cells, particularly in the brain or lungs. Approximately 800,000 gallons of formaldehyde-based embalming fluid are used every year for burials. Each year, that is more harmful chemicals going in the ground and gradually seeping into the earth.

Get Buried in an Eco-Friendly Burial Ground

Some cemeteries offer environmentally conscious burial grounds in which the body can naturally decompose in a natural habitat. These conservation grounds maintain the organic nature of the environment and do not employ the use of some large-scale flower services that may use chemicals that harm the earth, and therefore the flora and fauna that naturally live there.

Consider Cremation

Cremation is generally a more environmentally friendly way of going about the funeral process. Of course, it is much greener than the traditional burial alternative. However, there is growing concern over the impact of cremation on the environment. Crematoriums use natural gas to incinerate the bodies, which inevitably causes the release of greenhouse gasses into the air. Other chemicals, such as those from the body’s dental fillings, can also release chemicals into the air.

Despite this, more crematoriums are adopting more fuel-efficient retorts that limit the amount of carbon dioxide released during the cremation process. If you wish to choose this option, research eco-friendly crematoriums like that employs new methods of incineration.

After the body is cremated, choose a casket or urn that will decompose naturally. If you plan to bury the ashes in a container, it might as well be made of materials similar to those listed above, which includes bamboo, seagrass, willow, and other biodegradable materials.

Donate the Body to Science

While this may not be the comfortable option for everyone, donating the body to science is the cheapest and most generation option for those concerned about the future of the environment and the progress of medical science. By donating your body to science, you are contributing to the training of the next generation of doctors and physicians. Scientists can also perform research with the use of your body. Medical schools are always in need of test subjects who are willing to subject their bodies. In addition, many medical schools are willing to give back the body after a few weeks, or take care of the remains for you.

If you’re planning an eco-friendly funeral, be sure to keep these aspects in mind.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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