Green funerals are not only environment friendly but cost a fraction of what traditional funerals do. In recent years the green-funeral business has expanded rapidly and is becoming mainstream. Alternatives to the traditional type of funerals have become more widely available. These include simpler caskets, some made from a strong form of cardboard, bamboo or hemp sacks and decorated with flowers or other natural materials.
Why should I be aware of this?
- Green funeral is an option to end our lives in the way we wished to live them — by being kind to the environment.
- Green burial is a simpler funeral and burial practice which eliminates many of the common contemporary conventions.
Green funerals and environment
Without the embalming fluid, there is no chance of ground water pollution. During the embalming process, some toxic fluids could be released into the sewer system. Furthering [pollution] are the emissions from backhoes, lawnmowers and tree pruners, as well as pesticides getting into ground water.
All about green funerals
Britain has been a world leader in eco-friendly funerals for years. Green burial products and ideas are sourced from Britain by many countries, including the United States, where the idea is just starting to catch on.
Green funerals adopt eco-friendly methods in every stage of the burial. Clothes are sewn from natural fibres. Coffins are constructed from biodegradable materials, and the burial plot itself is in an untamed natural setting. The idea is to leave as little mark on the Earth as possible.
In green funerals there is no embalming in toxic materials, no plastic-lined coffin and or grave marked with a marble headstone from an open quarry. Nor will there he will be put in a wicker or cardboard casket and buried in a field, with a sapling to mark the spot.
Formaldehyde compounds are not used to preserve the body. Metal coffins, or coffins that use exotic and unsustainably harvested wood are also not allowed. Concrete burial vaults are also not used. All these are not only more economical choices but also avoid unnecessary consumption of resources.
- There are now 250 natural burial grounds in Britain — up from just one or two in 1993. 
- Approximately 56 million people die each year around the globe. 
- 50 million trees are cut down in India each year for funeral pyres. This releases 8 million tons of carbon dioxide. 
- Up to 16 percent mercury emissions in the U.K. come from crematoria because of the fillings in teeth. This percentage is expected to increase to 25 percent by 2020. 
- 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete buried in the U.S. each year in the construction of vaults. 
The credit crunch is also helping to boost demand for eco-coffins, which can be made of anything from seagrass to banana leaf. 
Cremation is greener than burial. Even though it takes quite a bit of energy to cremate a body, green experts agree that it's still better for the environment than the resources consumed to make coffins, and the toxic chemicals used for embalming. Traditional burial is still the most common choice for the deceased, but that may change in this economic climate - families who have been affected by the downturn are finding that cremation is a less costly way to say farewell to their loved ones. 
- Funerals that put eco minds at rest
- Green funerals with cardboard coffins for eco-exit
- Green Funerals and Burial