Environmentally friendly funerals

Is it possible to have an environmentally friendly funeral?

With an increased concern (and quite rightly so!) on being environmentally friendly should we be considering how to plan an environmentally friendly funeral and is this possible?

In short…YES!

Now, to what extent you go to is entirely up to you, whether you take a few steps to be environmentally friendly or go the fully environmentally friendly.

Planning your funeral, and paying for it in advance, has so many benefits!

Not only does it mean that you get the funeral that YOU want but it also saves your loved ones a huge emotional burden as well as a financial one!

Having a funeral plan in place means that any unnecessary arguments are removed and your loved ones are content in the knowledge that they are giving you the send off that you wanted.

Here are just a few ideas for you to consider:


If you are choosing a burial, you may want to consider a coffin that is made from biodegradable materials to minimise the impact that your arrangements have on the environment.

An important consideration, if you are planning on being environmentally friendly, is the distance that your coffin has travelled and whether you want to choose a manufacturer that is local to you, to reduce this.

Some biodegradable materials that you may consider are:

    • Willow
    • Bamboo
    • Cardboard

An alternative option, if you would like a wooden coffin, is to choose a locally sourced wood such as:

  • Pine
  • Oak
  • Cherry

Another consideration may be to have no coffin at all. This (although this may be surprising to some!) is an option, if you would prefer to have a material shroud instead of a coffin, this is a great environmentally friendly alternative.

Burial or Cremation?

Burial is a more environmentally friendly choice, as opposed to cremation, as it avoids the emissions of carbon monoxide, mercury and dioxin.


Considering the travelling arrangements of those attending your funeral may be important to you. Although, you may not have control over all those that attend, you can express your wishes (such as car sharing or electric cars to be used) and could also make arrangements for an electric hearse and funeral cars.


You may want to consider asking for flowers to be locally sourced and/or handpicked and to refrain from the use of packaging (or at least packaging that is not biodegradable).

Memorial Location

Choosing a Memorial Location that is close to your loved ones could reduce travelling when your loved ones wants to visit.

Funeral Stationery

Asking that minimal funeral stationery is used and using only recyclable paper is another environmentally friendly consideration.

Carbon Offset Contribution

You may want to consider leaving a gift in your Will to the Woodland Trust or another Carbon Offset Scheme as a contribution towards offsetting your lifetime carbon footprint (this is currently estimated at £8,000). Of course, you can leave a donation of any amount that you feel is appropriate.

If you would like a FREE chat to discuss putting a
funeral plan in place, get in touch on
or 01727 865 121

Leah Waller

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