Nature gave us life, so let’s give life back to nature. We would like to make humanity part of the natural cycle of life again, by collaboration with the natural world instead of exploiting it. We can still contribute to Mother Nature at the end of our life cycle, that is why sustainability is also a very important aspect of a funeral. But what exactly is a sustainable funeral? We would like to list the six major components of a sustainable funeral below.
- Opt for a green casket
One of the most prominent elements of a funeral is the casket, and here you can make a sustainable choice. There are now funeral caskets available that are made from natural and biodegradable materials such as bamboo, cardboard, or even salt. A unique option is the ‘worlds first living coffin,’ the Living Cocoon by Loop Biotech, which biodegrades over time and becomes a source of new life. Moreover, the production process of the Living Cocoon is much more sustainable than that of conventional caskets. Instead of using dead materials that harm the environment, Loop cultivates living materials that enrich nature. Additionally, the production process is faster and greener; the casket grows in just 7 days and takes place in the Netherlands. By choosing a green funeral casket, you contribute to the protection of our planet.
- Consider Seasonal Flowers
Flowers often take center stage at a funeral. For many, flowers play a significant role in connection with a passing. We recommend selecting flowers that are grown in the current season. Many flower varieties are seasonal and may not always be available in the Netherlands. Importing these flowers is environmentally burdensome, and therefore, we discourage it for a sustainable funeral. Alternatively, you can choose to pick flowers from your own garden. This way, the bouquet becomes personal, and you can be sure it’s free from pesticides.
- Make a Conscious Clothing Choice
Clothing and jewelry constitute the final component. Even when it comes to the attire of the deceased, a sustainable choice can be made. Consider clothing made from natural fibers such as linen or wool. Garments made from synthetic materials are harmful to the environment and take a significantly longer time to degrade. You can compare it to burying a piece of plastic in the ground. It takes much more time to decompose than, for example, a piece of cotton.
- Minimize Paper Usage
Many funerals involve a lot of paperwork, from printed programs to condolence cards. Try to go digital wherever possible and use email or social media to share information and memories. If paper is unavoidable, opt for recycled paper and consider creating programs and memorial books with sustainable materials.
- Think About Sustainable Transportation
Transporting the deceased and guests to the cemetery can also be sustainable. Consider using an electric or hybrid hearse and encourage guests to carpool or use public transportation to reduce CO2 emissions.
- Donations Instead of Flowers
Instead of receiving flowers, you can request donations to an eco-friendly organization. This ensures that the memory of your loved one is associated with a positive contribution to the environment.
A sustainable funeral is a beautiful way to take one last green step and honor the earth that has given us so much. By following these tips, you can contribute to the preservation of our planet and leave a lasting positive impact even after you’ve departed.