The most popular types of funeral service in the UK involve a traditional burial or cremation. However, there are many lesser known options which are more environmentally friendly, or more suitable for those who would prefer a non-religious funeral and burial. If you don’t think a regular burial is the best choice for you or a loved one, then take a look at these alternatives when planning a funeral.
Buried at sea
At some point we’re going to run out of space on land to bury our dead, so the sea be a viable option. Many people buried at sea are former sailors or Navy personnel, but in fact anybody can choose to be buried at sea. There are some regulations to follow, such as environmental measures and restrictions on what the deceased can wear during the burial. Some funeral directors can arrange a burial at sea, or you can organise it through a maritime organisation. There are only three burial sites in British coastal waters so you must be willing to travel. Alternatively, you can choose to scatter ashes at sea which is an easier process.
A natural or green burial is quite similar to a traditional burial except it reduces the environmental impact. A natural burial ground is in the countryside, and unlike a cemetery there are no large headstones. This type of burial is an ecological option, and bodies are buried in coffins made from natural biodegradable materials such as cardboard or wicker. There are now over 200 green burial grounds across the UK, and all sites are managed to encourage local wildlife and plants.
If you have the space then you can actually bury loved ones in your garden, or on private land. It can be cheaper to arrange a home burial than pay for space in a cemetery, however there are some rules and regulations to follow. Check if you need permission from the local council, and bear in mind that having a burial ground on site could reduce the value of your property.
This process is similar to cremation yet has environmental benefits. Instead of fire, a water and alkali method is used to reduce the body down to ashes. The funeral service and what happens after – the returning of the ashes – remains the same. The only difference is the resomation process requires significantly less energy and produces less greenhouse gases than flame cremation.
There are many options to explore, get in touch with our advisors if you need any more help choosing a burial option.