In a short space of time, climate change has become the hot topic on everyone’s agenda and many companies are now looking at ways to help us all become more sustainable – even in death.
At the moment it currently takes two tons of material to bury someone, and, when a body is cremated, 260 kilos of C02 is released. Luckily for our planet, eco-funerals are on the rise and there are more options than ever to help you have a more sustainable death.
What are eco-funerals?
Eco-funerals are a broad term that describes any or all parts of a funeral that are more environmentally friendly. Whilst the most common example in the UK are woodland burials, there are now lots of different ways to have a more sustainable death.
If we take burials, the traditional method of having a coffin and a cemetery plot uses a huge amount of material and takes up a lot of land which is something we’re in short supply of. It’s estimated that almost half of the cemeteries in the UK will be full within the next 20 years so new solutions need to be found for those who don’t wish to be cremated.
Luckily, there are new companies looking into ways to make burial much better for the environment. Better Place Forests are a Californian start-up, offering burial sites under trees instead of the standard graveyard plots. These use less space and also help the flora and fauna in the forests. Another company, Coeio has created an ‘infinity burial suit’ which allows all of you to decompose underground and help to nurture the soil.
The average fuel needed to cremate one body is roughly equal to the amount needed to drive 4,800 miles, and the process pumps large amounts of harmful gases into the atmosphere. With more people choosing this option due to the reduction in cost compared to burial, it’s something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Resomation is a natural water cremation company that, rather than using fire, process bodies using water and an alkali based solution to speed up the natural decaying process. Another eco-company, Bio-urns offer a way for you to use your ashes to create a new life in the form of plants and trees.
What are the laws around eco-funerals?
Countries are now waking up to the necessity of passing legislation to make death more sustainable. In the US for example, Washington recently became the first state to legalize human composting (turning human remains into soil) and there are now companies like Recompose offering customers this service.
Given the infancy of some of these ideas, the legislation around what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to eco-funerals is still pretty inconsistent. So, our advice would be to do your homework on what is and isn’t allowed where you live before making any decisions on what you want to happen to you when you die.
Find out more:
If you want to learn more about eco-friendly funeral options, take a look at our information here: https://www.death.io/back-to-nature-and-eco-funerals/
Or you can download our funeral savings guide which also gives more information and shows the money you could save on going green: http://bit.ly/2SyJCHz