We can spend a life time collecting milk bottle tops only to make bad and hurried choice when arranging a funeral. Become aware of the many options available; what to say ‘yes’ to and when to say’ no.’

The Greenest Choice:

Green burial is the most natural way of re-cycling a body. Human remains returned to the earth, soon become part of the cycle of nature. Woodland, moors, farmland, downs and wild flower meadows are among the sites used as natural burial grounds. Graves are recorded and marked by a microchip, sometimes with a wooden plaque or with a tree planted instead of a headstone.
Wooden benches, bird and bat boxes can often be put in place in memory of a loved one. Each establishment will have its own guidelines, some being stricter than others. The one thing all natural burial grounds have in common is that provide an environment for nature to thrive and somewhere peaceful to visit, to sit and remember.


Cremation has become more popular in recent years. If this is your choice, please be aware that in spite of strict government legislation 12% of all carcinogenic (cancerous) pollutants in the atmosphere come from crematoria. Bear in mind also the enormous amount of energy required for fuel.

 and volunteer not for profit Whichever option you choose, here are a few guidelines:

  • Insist on no embalming (other than in specific circumstances). The fluids are very toxic and damaging to the environment. On a personal level embalming is an extremely invasive procedure
  • Always refuse coffins that contain toxic glues and silver/gold plastic coloured handles. There are many alternatives made of natural materials: sustainable pine, willow, cane, wool and cardboard (perfect to decorate as a family) and many more options
  • Ensure that the deceased is dressed in natural fabrics – no synthetics
  • Choose locally grown or garden flowers instead of imported or hot-house blooms with a heavy carbon foot-print.

Where possible, natural burial is the greenest legacy we can leave behind to benefit future generations. Planting trees in memory of a loved one will help maintain the natural beauty of our planet; creating havens for wild life, tranquil places for families to visit, kept safe from developers.

Our next Last Wishes course starts soon. If you care about your environmental legacy we can help! And help you save money without compromising choices or ethics. 

Did you know you can plant a woodland in memorial for a loved one? www.ancientandsacredtrees.org a volunteer run not for profit social enterprise plants trees and woods in the Tropics and the UK with cards, certificates and more.