Green Funerals

Many people today look for a more environmentally friendly or green alternative to a traditional funeral.

There are so many new ways to remember your loved one: you could have their ashes made into vinyl records or artificial coral reefs which support marine life; some people choose show their consideration for the environment by having meat-free wakes or donating what would have been spent on flowers to eco charities. In a variety of ways, end of life wishes are becoming increasingly environmentally friendly.1

Whether you are looking for the type of coffin and burial ground or the memorial choices, The Southern Co-operative has a dedicated range to choose from when arranging your green funeral.

Natural burial grounds

An alternative to a traditional cemetery or graveyard, natural green burial grounds offer a tranquil place for family and friends to visit and reflect.  The burial grounds are often set in meadows or woodland areas with a focus on preserving the natural beauty of the environment and encouraging native wildlife and flowers.

Some natural burial sites also provide dedicated areas for the burial or scattering of cremated remains. Your local Funeral Director can advise you on the closest natural burial ground for your green funeral.

Natural memorials

Natural burial grounds do not usually permit traditional headstone markers with the aim that eventually the grave is reclaimed by nature.  Some sites allow a tree to be planted or a temporary grave marker, whilst others prefer a natural, biodegradable marker or no marker at all. Sometimes traditional standing headstones are not used and instead wooden signs, flat rocks, plants or trees may serve as grave markers.2

Eco-friendly coffins, caskets and urns

Most natural burial grounds will require the coffin, casket or urn used to be fully biodegradable.

Burials and cremations can both have an impact on the environment, using resources and energy. Traditional Coffins are often made of wood from unsustainable sources and transported over long distances; plus metal and plastic fittings do not biodegrade. Choosing a coffin made from a sustainable source will help, as will choosing an eco-friendly material such as wicker, bamboo or cardboard.2

Coffins, caskets and urns are also available in willow or sea grass. These materials reduce the need for solid timber, safeguarding the future of woodlands and forests and result in a truly green funeral.

Your local Funeral Director can advise on our range of eco-friendly memorials; coffins, caskets and urns; and any other choices to show how much you or your loved one cared for the environment.