Two Types Of Funerals And How To Plan Them With Low Environmental Impact In Mind

Whether you're worried about the next generation running out of non-renewable resources or you just feel a responsibility to be a good steward of the resources available today, having a low-impact funeral is one way you can leave a better Earth for your children. This can apply whether you have a traditional in-ground burial, a cremation, or opt for the even more cutting-edge "liquid cremation," aka alkaline hydrolysis. Here are some tips on planning the most eco-friendly funeral, whether you're looking into an in-ground burial or a more budget-friendly cremation. 

1 In-ground burial

If you're opting for the traditional funeral experience, because you have a very traditional family and don't want to shock them or because you have a cemetery plot all ready for you in a particular plot near where loved ones' remains are already resting, you may still be able to increase the eco-friendliness of the event. Ask the cemetery if it's okay to opt out of the grave liner or burial vault and do so if possible. Select an eco-friendly biodegradable casket, such as one made of sustainably farmed bamboo, and request to have your remains dressed in biodegradable garments before they're laid to rest. If you're not locked in to a particular cemetery, shop around until you find one that allows "natural burials," which includes all of the above alterations as well as other things such as opting out of the embalming process.

2. Cremation

Although cremation is often considered a more eco-friendly experience overall, that doesn't mean you can't still improve it. Opt to have your ashes scattered or kept in an urn on the mantelpiece (or both) rather than having them buried in a cemetery plot and arrange to have a rented casket for the viewing, having the actual cremation take place in just a sturdy cardboard casket. You can also choose alkaline hydrolysis to reduce environmental impact (if you live in one of the states where it's allowed). This alternative to traditional cremation claims to be even more eco-friendly because it doesn't release as many pollutants into the air. It also doesn't require a casket at all, meaning even fewer resources are disposed of during the process. 

These two types of funerals can be planned with a reduction in environmental impact, even the ones that are eco-friendly already. This shows that a little planning can help you really maximize your eco-friendly efforts for your funeral.