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What is a green funeral?


In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards more eco-friendly funerals, also known as a green funeral. But what is a green funeral?

A green funeral, also referred to as an eco-friendly funeral or natural burial, is a funeral that prioritises reducing the impact on the environment. It is a way to honour and remember a loved one while considering sustainability practices. These eco-conscious practices encompass several elements, including the body disposition, the choice of materials, and the overall impact on the environment.

One aspects of a green funeral is the method of body disposition. Traditional burial methods often involve embalming the body, using hardwood caskets, and placing the body in a concrete vault. These practices can have a significant environmental impact, as they can release harmful chemicals into the soil and contribute to deforestation.

In contrast, green funerals advocate for natural body disposition methods, such as natural burial. This involves burying the body in a biodegradable casket or a shroud directly in the ground, without the use of embalming chemicals. The goal is to allow the body to decompose naturally and become one with the environment. This not only reduces the use of toxic chemicals but also promotes the restoration of natural ecosystems.

Choosing eco-friendly materials is another crucial aspect of a green funeral. Instead of selecting caskets made of hardwoods or synthetic materials, environmentally conscious options include biodegradable caskets made from materials like bamboo, willow, or cardboard. These materials decompose readily, leaving minimal impact on the environment. Additionally, opting for sustainable flowers or recycled paper products for memorial programs can further reduce the ecological footprint of the funeral.

In addition to these elements, green funerals often incorporate other sustainable practices. For example, minimising energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by selecting a funeral home close to the intended burial site or utilising natural lighting and ventilation during services. Implementing digital memorialisation, such as online guest books or live streaming services, can also reduce the amount of printed materials and travel needs.

The concept of a green funeral goes beyond just the physical aspects and extends into the emotional aspects as well. Some families even choose to create living memorials by planting trees or creating gardens in memory of their loved ones. These acts not only honour their memory but contribute positively to the environment for future generations. 

While traditional funerals may seem deeply rooted in our cultural practices, green funerals serve to make a positive impact. By considering more eco-friendly practices, we can ensure that our final farewell is one that aligns with our commitment to a healthier, more sustainable future.

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Ann, Wentworth Falls

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