Making a funeral more environmentally friendly

How to plan a more eco-friendly funeral

Are you arranging a funeral for a loved one who was passionate about the environment? Or did they ask for an eco-friendly funeral before they passed away? There are lots of ways you can plan a more eco-friendly funeral. Here are a few things you could do.

Avoid embalming

Embalming is the process of preserving a body. It uses chemicals like formaldehyde which can get into the soil after the person’s been buried. This can affect the soil and water around it. It can even have an effect on the health of the professionals who carry out embalming. So if you want to arrange a more eco-friendly funeral then opt out of embalming. Speak to your funeral director about what’s possible. But keep in mind that embalming isn’t required by law. Instead the body of the person who passed away can be stored in temperature controlled facilities so that it’s preserved before the funeral.

Choose an eco-friendly burial

Which is more environmentally friendly? Cremation or burial? They’re actually both responsible for causing harm to the environment. Even though cremation is thought to be a more eco-friendly funeral option because it takes up less space, it’s causes a lot of air pollution. The process of cremation uses extreme heat which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And it takes up a lot of energy too.

So what about burial? Traditionally made coffins can leave behind chemicals in the soil. Varnishes and formaldehyde can reach the soil polluting it for years to come. And there’s also the possibility that metal parts of the coffin such as the handles are left behind too.

The answer? A natural burial. This is when a burial takes place in a natural place like a woodland or meadow. No chemicals are used. And only completely biodegradable coffins are allowed. This means that the body decomposes naturally and leaves nothing behind to harm the environment. It’s arguably the most environmentally friendly funeral option available to us in the UK right now.

Research eco-friendly coffins

If a natural burial seems like a good option for the eco-funeral you’re planning then you’ll need to look into eco-friendly coffins too. They’re a more sustainable option when compared with a traditional coffin. They’re biodegradable so won’t leave anything behind. And they can still be decorative too.

Here’s what some eco-friendly coffins are made of:

Keep in mind that there’s no legal requirement to use a coffin at all in the UK. So you could cut that out of your eco-friendly funeral completely. Some people choose to wrap the person who died in a specially made shroud made from material that’ll completely decompose. This will more closely reflect the way a body usually decomposes. So the person who died can return back to the earth in a more natural and eco-friendly way.

Find eco-friendly funeral flowers

You may not think that funeral flowers harm the environment. But many of them are shipped long distances especially if chosen out of season. And they’re often wrapped in plastic too. So they can have an impact on the environment even if just a few tributes are chosen for the funeral service. Instead you could ask your florist to avoid plastic altogether and ask them to choose from locally sourced flowers. That way you know that they’ll biodegrade and have less of an impact on the environment. Ask your funeral director for advice too. They may be able to introduce you to a florist who specialises in locally sourced flowers.

Or if you want to take this a step further you could ask family and friends who are attending to pick flowers from their own gardens. That way you know there’s no harm caused to the environment and it’s a thoughtful gesture from guests too.

Buy from local suppliers

If you can work with local suppliers for the coffin, flowers and keep the venue local too you’ll reduce your carbon footprint. You can take this one step further and ask everyone attending to car share too. This’ll help keep carbon dioxide emissions to a minimum.

Other eco-friendly funeral options

Planning an eco-funeral for a loved one

When you’re planning an eco-friendly funeral for someone you may not get it all right. That’s okay. By adding in just a few of the options above you’ll reduce the carbon footprint of the funeral. And you’ll be honouring the person who died in a way that reflects their values.

Don’t forget that your funeral director can support you with arranging an eco-friendly funeral. To find one near you that specialises in environmentally friendly funerals use our funeral director finder.

Last updated: 05/12/2022

×

Request Advice

Call a member of the Funeral Choice advice team on 01983 754387

or complete our enquiry form.

×

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
Close
×

What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
Close
×

Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

Close
×

Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

Close
×

Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
Close
×

Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

Close