Understanding Eco-Friendly Burial Options

Eco-friendly burial options are becoming more popular due to an increased awareness of environmental issues. Whether you're planning a funeral for a loved one who expressed an interest in environmentalism or preplanning your own funeral, there are several eco-friendly burial options available.

Coffin Materials

A simple way to make a burial more eco-friendly is to choose a natural, sustainable material for the coffin that's biodegradable and doesn't add to the destruction of rainforests. Opt for a sustainable pine, willow or bamboo coffin, or consider a coffin made from recycled cardboard. The cardboard used for coffins is thick and strong, but it also breaks down quickly when buried.


A burial shroud is essentially a large piece of material that a body is wrapped in before burial. A shroud can be used on its own or with a coffin. Shrouding a body is a requirement of some religions, but you do not need to have a religious funeral in order to use a burial shroud. Opting for a shroud in lieu of a coffin may be of interest to those concerned with the impact of manufactured goods on tree life. You can choose biodegradable and environmentally friendly material for your shroud, such as hemp, and some people choose to have mushroom spores integrated into their shroud, which then grow and enrich the soil and surrounding natural habitat.

Tree Pod Burials

Tree pod burials involve the deceased being placed in a biodegradable pod shaped like an egg. The pod is buried and a young tree is planted on top of the burial site. The tree gets nutrients from the decomposing pod and acts as a living memorial for the deceased. Tree pod burials represent the continuous cycle of life and recognise humans as part of the natural world. Some cemeteries are beginning to allow tree pod burials, but they are often carried out in woodland or meadow environments, which are considered more natural and eco-friendly than traditional cemeteries.

In addition to making changes to the burial, you can also make the rest of the funeral more eco-friendly by cutting out single-use cutlery and plates at the wake, opting for electric vehicles if you have to hire cars and choosing living plants instead of cut flowers for the service.

These are just a few ways you can make a burial more eco-friendly. If you'd like to implement any of these suggestions for you or your family member's funeral, discuss your requirements with your funeral director who will work with you to try and fulfil your requests.