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5 Ways to Make a Funeral More Eco-Friendly

August 5, 2020

If you are passionate about caring for the environment, having a more ‘eco-friendly’ funeral is a great way to ensure you continue to minimise your impact on the earth even after you have passed away. While burial and cremation are the most common ways to dispose of the dead, each year, tonnes of metal, wood, and concrete are put into the ground during traditional burials and a single cremation requires about two SUV tanks worth of fuel. Burial and cremation may be steeped in tradition; however, they are far from environmentally friendly. At Perth Cremations, we are the leading local funeral service trusted by families across Perth. We have seen a huge increase in clients concerned with the environmental impact of funerals, so here are our five top suggestions to make a funeral a little more ‘green’.

Choose a Natural Coffin

Whether you choose burial or cremation, selecting the right coffin can help to reduce your funeral’s impact on the environment. Burial in a biodegradable coffin can significantly reduce carbon emissions so ditch the traditional mahogany casket and opt for an eco-friendly material such as bamboo, cardboard, formaldehyde-free plywood, sea grass, wicker or plantation timber. If you can ensure that the coffin isn’t transported too far from the place of manufacture, that also helps to reduce emissions so shop locally if possible.

Consider a Sustainable Urn

While cremation is not the most environmentally-friendly option, you can increase the benefits by using a biodegradable urn to hold the ashes. Choose a wooden urn made from sustainable timber or even a coconut shell. There are many other options on the market like the use of compacted peat and cellulose. Eco-friendly urns also allow individuals to customize their funeral as they are available in many different shapes.

Cut the Flowers

It’s common to send flowers to the bereaved, and while this is a very thoughtful gesture, cut flowers can come at a high environmental price. When preparing a funeral notice, ask for an ‘in lieu of flowers’ option at your funeral, this could include donations to an environmental charity of your choice. There are many other options that guests can consider instead of sending floral arrangements – a plant that can be planted in the ground, a day-spa voucher for someone in mourning. At such a difficult time, thoughtful gestures can have much greater significance to the bereaved than a bunch of flowers and can make a huge environmental difference.

Leave a Living Reminder

While mourners need to have somewhere to go to remember their loved ones, natural or living memorials can be ideal alternatives to quarried headstones or marble mausoleums. Consider planting a tree or a bush that will carry on in honour of the deceased. 

Make the Service Green

When it comes to any type of event, much of the environmental impact is in the details. If you can’t opt for an eco-coffin, sustainable urn or any other eco-friendly suggestions, you can still make a difference by incorporating environmentally-friendly practices into the funeral proceedings.

  • Use recycled paper for programs or hymn sheets and encourage guests to dispose of them correctly in recycle bins.
  • If you can’t forego the flowers, try to source them from organic, sustainable, local growers.
  • Ask guests to carpool from location to location during the funeral.
  • Serve local, organic food and refreshments.

It is easy to see why funerals that incorporate more natural and sustainable elements, that have less impact on the environment and leave a positive legacy, are growing in popularity around Australia.

While completely ‘green’ funerals and funeral services are limited with our country, there are many minor changes you can make to lessen the environmental impact of a funeral. If you would like more information on affordable, customised funeral packages with an eco-friendly aspect, call the team at Perth Cremations today – we listen to our clients’ feedback and take action so that we can continue to improve our services.


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