We only have the one planet Earth and here at Evergreen Funeral Services we try to do our bit to be greener where we can. This extends to our funerals and we are proud to offer what many might think of as greener funeral options alongside the more traditional ones.
Eco-friendly or green funerals are terms that have been used ever increasingly over the past few years to describe a funeral that has more eco-conscious credentials to it. There is no specific classification of what constitutes an eco-friendly funeral however there are many options and products which are available which can help to support the idea of a greener funeral. We are able to provide many of these options which you might be looking for. Some ideas for minimising the impact of a funeral on the environment might be:
- Using coffins made from natural materials such as – willow, banana leaf and bamboo (these are also usually free from chemical varnishes, plastics, synthetic trims etc).
- Considering where the coffin has had to travel from before it’s use and the impact of it’s transportation. Was it shipped from abroad or was it grown and hand-weaved here in the UK?
- Choosing a biodegradable urn based on what you are going to do with ashes following a cremation. You can get urns for a variety of uses like water dispersal ones, those designed for a bio-degradable burial and some made specifically for scattering.
- Opting for a natural burial (see further down the page for more about this).
- Holding a graveside service, thus reducing the need for all of the heating and lighting of a specific chapel or venue.
- Limiting unnecessary journeys and the use of heavy consumption funeral vehicles. Sometimes meeting at the funeral venue and car-sharing can also save on the distance and number of journey’s traveled.
- Requesting that donations are made in lieu of flowers to charitable causes.
- Where flowers are used, considering just one natural arrangement such as a tied sheaf, rather than those made with lots of plastic and floral foam.
- Printing service sheets on recycled cards and papers or doing away with them altogether.
- Choosing a living memorial. Rather than a headstone or ashes vault, why not plant a tree or bush that will act as spot for remembrance for years to come?
Our thoughts on Embalming
Evergreen funeral services do not promote embalming as many other funeral directors do. We see embalming as a highly invasive chemical procedure which is usually not necessary. We will only ever carry out embalming if specifically requested or if required for repatriation purposes.
Natural burials are often seen as a greener alternative to traditional burials. There are a number of differences between them, in particular that with a natural burial the grave is not usually marked with a traditional headstone and the land is left to grow much wilder, perhaps as a meadow or woodland. At some sites a tree may be planted to mark the grave, some may allow a small stone marker or some may not permit any marking of the grave whatsoever. Only natural, biodegradable coffins are accepted into the plots at these sites.
Further rules for these burial grounds are very much dependent on each particular site and who owns and operates them. It is always important to check the requirements for each specific location. Some burial grounds may allow the purchase of a plot in advance and most usually offer plots for ashes to be buried so even if you are considering a cremation, you still have the opportunity to utilise a natural burial ground in a lasting tribute to your loved one. If you would like any information on natural burials in our area then please do not hesitate to contact us.