5 Environmentally Friendly Funeral Features

Someone who cared a great deal about the environment would no doubt appreciate a funeral that takes this passion into account. Now that you're responsible for making funeral arrangements, consider including some environmentally friendly features that your loved one would be grateful for.

A Wood Casket for Burial

Long ago, basic wood caskets constituted the most common container for burial. As decades passed, people gradually moved away from the simple wood casket in favor of more expensive, elaborate options. Less expensive wood caskets always were available, however, and now, there's an increasing trend in favor of these products.

Instead of pricey cherry wood, choose affordable pine. You can buy a casket that does not have any metal parts or synthetic lining and is made of only biodegradable materials. 

Environmentally Friendly Cremation

If you believe the deceased person would have preferred cremation over burial, find out whether a process known as bio-cremation is legal and offered in your state. Technically called alkaline hydrolysis, this type of cremation uses water, heat and potassium hydroxide to turn the body to ash. 

Donations in Lieu of Flowers

Your loved one may have been passionate about a national or worldwide environmental organization, a local hiking group or a nature preserve that relies on volunteers and donations for maintenance. In the obituary and notice of funeral service, you can ask people to give donations to a particular organization rather than sending flowers.

This is becoming more common as people increasingly feel that spending so much money on cut flowers is wasteful, especially when that cash could be used for a good cause. 

Gifts of Seeds

Provide a packet of wildflower seeds to each guest along with the bulletin for the service. Another way to give away the seeds is to send them with thank-you cards to everyone who provided a monetary donation. 

The Meal Afterward

It's a common tradition to offer a casual meal after the funeral service. Instead of paper, foam or plastic tableware, use regular items that are washable and reusable. If the meal is provided in a church basement, then plates, cups and other items may be available in the kitchen. You may have access to an automatic dishwasher as well. 

Was the deceased person a vegetarian? If so, you might honor that choice by only serving vegetarian food at the meal. 

Final Thoughts

The person you loved cared deeply about the environment. Knowing that you're considering the environmental impact of the funeral can give you some peace of mind as you say a final goodbye. Contact a funeral home (such as Inglesby Funeral Home, inc.) that you would like to help you with the arrangements and discuss options for honoring your loved one's convictions.