Measuring your funeral footprint

25 May 2016

Environmentally friendly funerals are becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

Measuring your funeral footprint

Why choose a green funeral?

The first woodland burial site opened in 1993 and there are now more than 250 sites across the country, providing a natural alternative for those of us who would prefer natural surroundings for our final resting place. Here, we look at what is driving this trend and whether it’s here to stay.

Most of us would like to be able to say we are doing our bit for the environment. Taking steps to reduce our funeral footprint is an easy way to lessen the impact we have on the planet after we're gone.

For traditional funerals, having a standard burial in a biodegradable coffin is about as green as it gets. With this method, you can be sure that your body will be returned to the earth and that no nasty chemicals will hamper the process. Being buried way out in the lush greenery of the countryside will help to ensure you are left undisturbed.

The central component of a green burial is a biodegradable coffin. These are made of untreated, natural materials such as bamboo or wicker and break down in the soil easily. Treated hardwood coffins with metal handles however, take an extraordinarily long time to decompose.

Often, green burials are seen as a rebut to the ostentatiousness of grandiose funerals which many people prefer to avoid. Green burials have a tranquil and respectful aura. But what is really driving the popularity of green burials is a greater awareness of the impact our everyday lifestyles have on the environment.

Arguably, we have never been more aware as a society of the damage we cause to the planet through needlessly driving to work, jetting around the World and even being frivolous with plastic bags. We know we are having a detrimental impact on the earth and a green burial in a woodland plot is just one way to make sure the carbon footprint many of us ammass during our lives stops swelling when we pass away.

Most funeral directors now offer a green burial option and biodegradable coffins. These can be incorporated into your pre-paid funeral plan.