What Is A Green Burial?

Some posts here on ARoseTintedWorld may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and buy a product or register, then I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. I may also use products from the companies mentioned in these posts. Thank you for supporting my blog!

In recent years, people have become more and more conscious of how their lifestyles impact the environment, and some people are even considering the impact of their death and burial once they pass. But what is a green burial and how can you make your funeral arrangements more eco friendly? Well, here are some ideas on how to make your funeral zero waste.

*This is a collaborative post – for more details please see my Disclosure Policy

What Is A Green Burial? Here Are 10 Ideas to Make Your Funeral Zero Waste


In recent years, people have become more and more conscious of how their lifestyles impact the environment, but have they considered the impact of their death? Well, here are some ideas on how to make your funeral zero waste. With embalming, burials and cremations having a negative impact on our environment, zero waste funerals are the next step in reducing our carbon footprint. Plan a zero waste and eco friendly funeral and wake. 

With embalming, burials and cremations having a negative impact on our environment, zero waste funerals are the next step in reducing our carbon footprint.

If you’re looking to have a zero waste funeral when you die, you can have it included in your funeral wishes when you create a will with solicitors in Macclesfield, Leeds, Sheffield, or any other area you live.

In this post, we’re going to help you decide if you want a zero waste funeral by giving you some ideas on how to have one.

How Do You Pull Off a Zero Waste Funeral?


There are tonnes of ideas out there for reducing the environmental impact of your funeral. But here are 10 of the best.

1. Choose a biodegradable coffin

The first thing to think about when you are thinking about what is a green burial is what type of coffin to be buried with. With zero waste lifestyles becoming more popular, there is a growing market for bio-degradable coffins in the UK, with wicker and cardboard taking the top spots. Underneath these two materials you have:

  • Wool coffins
  • Banana leaf coffins
  • Cane coffins
  • Bamboo coffins
  • Seagrass coffins

Basically, any natural material you can think of has probably been made into a coffin. If you want one of these for your funeral including them in your will can make sure that happens.


2. Or, choose the right wood

wooden coffin

Many of you would rather not be buried at all than be buried in a banana leaf, in which case you can still have a wooden coffin and reduce your impact on the environment. Instead of using mahogany, which comes from an endangered rainforest tree, use sustainable wood.

You can buy a coffin made from sustainable paulownia wood from responsibly managed forests, or unvarnished pine which is biodegradable.


3. Save marine life with your ashes

If you weren’t planning on being buried and you were opting for a cremation instead, you could do the environment a favour and have them turned into reef balls. Reef balls are being used to create artificial coral reefs for marine life who have lost their homes.

At a time where our coral reefs are at risk of being lost, turning your ashes into a reef ball could really put a nice full stop on your zero waste life.


4. Swap out your cremation for a resomation

Instead of going through a fuel-guzzling cremation, why not try a resomation instead? Resomations use alkaline hydrolysis instead of fire to chemically break down the body, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of your whole funeral by 35 percent.

Resomations reduce the body to its constituent organic elements, leaving only ashes from the bones which are given to the deceased’s family. Zero waste, carbon-free cremations are a great way to say goodbye to the world.


5. Become a tree

The same way you can buy a sustainable coffin for your burial, you can choose a zero wasteurn for your cremation. The only difference is that instead of being made out of a tree, this urn turns your remains into a tree.

The urn is buried by loving friends or family and begins to decompose and become part of the soil as the tree grows. If you want to become a tree when you die, make sure to include it in your will.


6. Or, a vinyl

If you thought you’d heard it all before, think again as you can actually have your ashes pressed into a vinyl. This vinyl can be created to produce any sound you want, such as a personal message to your family, your favourite song, or your last will and testament.

Your ashes won’t go to waste, and you can continue your existence on this earth as something your family can enjoy.


7. Burial at sea

burial at sea

If you’re more a fan of sea than land, you can have a zero waste funeralat sea instead. If you’re planning on being cremated you can have a small boat fashioned out of sustainable, biodegradable wood and pushed out to sea.


8. Ditch the flowers

Sending flowers to the bereaved is a common practice in the UK and across the western world. But it does come at a high environmental price.

The best way to avoid this practice is to stipulate in your will that people send an ‘in lieu’ of flowers and donate the money to a charity of your choosing instead. If anything, your family might feel better knowing the money for the flowers is going towards something you care about.


9. Have the mourners share rides

Make a point to your friends and relatives that having a zero waste funeralis really important to you and that they should try and share rides to your funeral.

There’s no point in people taking individual cars, especially if they are heading in the same direction. Just another reason to clearly list your funeral wishes in your will.


10. Have a zero waste wake

A big part of the funeral is the wake. You can book your wake in a woodland burial site which offer yurts, barns and gazebos as a venue. This saves on the carbon emissions of travel to and from the funeral.

Also, avoid temporary setups like marquees to reduce the amount of energy and materials used. And use local caterers who serve local food.



Are There Any Other Ideas for Making Your Funeral Zero Waste?


In this post, we’ve shared our top 10 ideas on how to make your funeral zero waste. But there are more out there for you to discover.

Hopefully this article has given you a good start when thinking about what is a green burial. And don’t forget to put these requests in your funeral wishes to make sure they’re carried out.





2 Replies to “What Is A Green Burial?”

  1. Michelle Miller says:

    What a great post! I’ve never thought about having a zero waste funeral before. And some of these I’ve never heard of. I love the vinyl idea!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.