Those who are particularly keen on environmental issues might opt to have an eco-friendly funeral, one which eschews traditions and provides a benefit to the surrounding environment.
Green funerals are burials, never cremations, but not in the traditional sense. Rather than using organised cemeteries with marked plots and a look which is very clearly distinguishable, the grounds in green funerals used aim to create an area of natural beauty where the true use is not immediately obvious.
There’s a back to nature feel about green funerals, with the site used for conservation purposes, no embalming allowed and all coffins made from sustainable materials.
The exact process for green funerals varies between sites but in some cases no markers are permitted whatsoever. This means that once the burial has taken place, you won’t know exactly where the body was interred. For some people this can be difficult to accept so it’s important to think carefully before proceeding.
Some sites allow small markers or wooden crosses but there will be no formal memorials, graves or plots as the idea is that the area looks natural.
Some types of green burials are also known as “woodland funerals”; the latter are typically slightly more relaxed than true green burials and are more likely to allow markers to be placed on the individual site.
There’s lots of issues that need to be considered with green funerals and as a relatively new concept, there can be a wide variety in the way the matter is handled. Therefore make sure you do your research before picking a site.
Green burials are becoming rapidly more popular, and there are approximately 260 sites in the UK. The cost is markedly less too, typically costing around £400-700. The overall feel of a green funeral, or a woodland burial, is a lot simpler but this doesn’t detract from the dignity. Some people feel that the simplicity of this type of arrangement is far more fitting as a tribute than more traditional funerals.