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Serving Dorset for over 110 years

Sustainable Funerals: Eco-Friendly Alternatives

Natural forest glade with evening sunlight shining through the foliage.

As we become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of our choices, it’s no surprise that many people are seeking sustainable alternatives to traditional funeral practices. Eco-friendly funerals offer a way to honour our loved ones while minimising our carbon footprint and preserving the planet for future generations. In this post, we’re exploring sustainable alternatives for an eco-friendly farewell.

What Is An Eco-Friendly Funeral?

An eco-friendly or green funeral is a sustainable alternative to traditional funeral practices that aims to minimise its impact on the environment. Traditional funeral practices often involve the use of non-biodegradable materials, chemicals, and excessive energy consumption, all of which can result in significant environmental damage. For example, traditional cremation requires a large amount of energy and emits sizeable amounts of carbon dioxide and mercury emissions.

On the other hand, eco funerals involve using sustainable materials such as biodegradable coffins, organic fabrics, and even mushroom spores to break down the body naturally. Some eco-friendly funeral options also involve using natural or green burial grounds that use native plants and limit the use of fossil fuels.

Ultimately, a green funeral seeks to limit its impact on the environment by using sustainable materials and reducing carbon emissions. By exploring sustainable funeral options, we can honour our loved ones while also protecting the planet.

Eco-Friendly Burials

Natural burials – also known as green burials, eco-friendly burials, or woodland burials – have gained popularity in recent years. Unlike conventional burials that can involve embalming or even metal caskets, natural burials focus on returning the body to the earth in an organic and environmentally friendly manner. The deceased is usually buried in a biodegradable casket in designated woodland burial grounds. This process allows the body to decompose naturally and become one with the earth, fostering the growth of trees and wildflowers.

At Douch, we have access to all woodland burial sites in Dorset, as well as over 200 woodland burial sites nationally. Many of these natural burial grounds also allow a tree to be planted on or next to the grave, while wooden plaques are used in place of stone memorials.

Biodegradable Coffins

With their eco-conscious design, biodegradable coffins and caskets offer a final resting place that aligns with these sustainability commitments. They are usually crafted from various organic and sustainable materials chosen for their ability to break down naturally over time. This allows them to return to the earth without causing harm to the environment. The construction of eco-friendly, biodegradable coffins focuses on simplicity, utilising natural fibres and minimal adhesives to ensure the fastest possible decomposition.

We stock a large number of biodegradable coffins at Douch Family Funeral Directors. This includes coffins hand-woven from willow, bamboo, traditional cane, and many more environmentally friendly materials.

Eco-Friendly Urns

In addition to biodegradable coffins, another important aspect of sustainable funerals is using an eco-friendly urn to store the ashes of the departed. Traditional urns are often made from non-biodegradable materials such as metal or plastic, which can contribute to pollution and the accumulation of waste. Biodegradable urns, however, have emerged as a greener option.

As with the sustainable coffins mentioned above, eco urns are crafted from plant fibres such as willow, mulberry bark, or seagrass. By opting for biodegradable urns, individuals can ensure that the final resting place of their loved one remains unpolluted. This minimises their impact on the planet while preserving their memories in a meaningful and sustainable way.

Douch Family Funeral Directors

As sustainability becomes a focal point in various aspects of our lives, it’s only natural that funerals are adapting to embrace eco-friendly alternatives. At Douch Family Funeral Directors, we support these environmental practices and provide a number of services to ensure a green funeral.  By choosing sustainable funeral options, we can find solace in knowing that even in our grief, we are making a difference.

Our range of woodland burial services can be viewed here, or for our range of eco urns and coffins, please find our online shop here. You can also get in touch directly to discuss the different services we offer. Speak to a member of our friendly team by calling us on 01202 367307.


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