Looking for some simple and affordable ways to go green at the funeral, memorial, or life celebration? Here are some smart, simple, and easy-to-implement ideas.
5 Simple Ways to Have a Green Funeral
1. DIGITAL INVITES
Don't waste paper by sending invitations via snail mail.
Between email and social media, there are plenty of ways to get the word out without sending a stack of card stock through the post. This will not only save trees, but will also lower your funeral expenses since you won't be paying for invitations and postage.
2. DIGITAL FUNERAL PROGRAMS
While you're at it, include a digital copy of the funeral or memorial service program in your email or social media event post.
Encourage attendees to access the service order on their smartphone. If you have access to a projector, consider projecting the funeral program throughout the service.
In most cases, you'll probably still want to print some programs; add a small sign encouraging family and friends to share in order to minimize waste.
3. SKIP THE EMBALMING
Here are some green alternatives to embalming that will preserve the body without the use of formaldehyde:
- Dry ice. Note: there are well-established safety guidelines for handling, storage, and ventilation when using dry ice as a preservative.
- Formaldehyde-free embalming products. Ask your embalming product supplier about the formaldehyde-free products it may offer. Trials of aardbalm, an iodine-based embalming product, used by some United Kingdom funeral homes, are taking place in funeral homes in the United States.
4. GIVE OUT PLANTABLE FAVORS
Often the family will give out small favors to memorial service attendees as to say thank you for coming.
There are many options for you to consider that have a positive effect on the environment. Ideas include giving out plantable saplings, seed packets, blooming remembrance cards, eco-confetti, plantable thank-you cards, and more.
Here are some resources:
- 11 Living Memorial Ideas to Honor a Loved One
- 30 Funeral & Memorial Service Ideas (many of which are eco-friendly)
5. GREEN BURIAL WITH ECO-FRIENDLY URNS & CASKETS
There are a wide variety of green funeral products available for ground burial, scattering of ashes, or water scattering/burial.
These urns and caskets will naturally biodegrade over time when buried, leaving a minimal footprint for your loved one's funeral.
Check out some here: