Planet

Our final choices will have a huge environmental impact on our planet.

Learn all about the eco-friendly options for your last wishes, explore what legacy you would like to leave behind for loved ones and the planet and every course or workshop also plants trees!

We are committed to Living Our Legacy both now and into the future for the sake of our planet. We do this by:

  • Planting trees with Ancient and Sacred Trees
  • All the books by our founder Jean Francis include a donation to Sussex Green Living, a charity promoting environmental awareness.
  • A wide range of free information on this website about eco-friendly end-of-life choices
  • In depth courses and workshops about eco-friendly end-of-life options.

Looking back to the days before commercialism took over our lives; families looked after their elderly before fading into eternity. The local midwife laidout the body, the village carpenter made the coffin and the deceased person would lay in the little used front room while family, friends and neighbours came to pay their last respects.

 

Giving back to our Planet

LAST WISHES – Live your Legacy Ltd is a Social Business raising profits to go back into community projects to support causes related to end of life and legacy, especially to help the Earth, for example;

 Tree planting with Ancient and Sacred Trees;

 Environmental awareness with Sussex Green Living.

If you have a cause you think will be close to our heart please get in touch.

If you would like to support the work we are doing to raise awareness of how our end of life can support the planet – please contact us or donate here.

Meanwhile, the local grave digger dug the grave by hand; a service took place in the local church followed by burial in the churchyard. Then maybe a gravestone put in place at a later date, using locally sourced stone; hence almost zero carbon emissions.

Things have changed considerably in the last century. We have allowed strangers to take our loved ones away, often immediately after drawing their last breath.

Unless you know otherwise, this loved one is put on an almost conveyor belt style process, which may include being embalmed. Emerging at the other end encased in a shiny coffin full of toxic glue and with gold coloured plastic handles.

Possibly the flowers have been flown into the country and gas guzzling cars and limos may transport mourners to and fro. Should a gravestone or monument be erected the stone/marble will likely have been imported from across the globe; zillions of carbon emissions later.

Whatever your choice, here are a few general guidelines, for a more environmentally friendly departure while being kinder to the planet:

  • Insist on no embalming (other than in very individual circumstances) Embalming fluids are extremely toxic and damage the environment.
  • Check that the coffin does not contain toxic glues or have gold coloured plastic handles. Better still choose one made from sustainably sourced wood or other natural materials.
  • Dress or wrap the deceased in clothes/cloth made of natural material, certainly no synthetics
  • Choose flowers from your garden or grown locally instead of imported blooms with big carbon footprints. Avoid cellophane wrapping and plastic frame.
  • In many cases cremated ashes are unwelcome in natural burial sites.

Whatever our decision, something we can all do is to plant trees or better still forests to help off-set our carbon footprints.

Embalming

The Egyptians practised mummification many centuries ago; which was an early form of embalming. Complex rites and rituals were carried out to ensure the body was properly preserved. The mummification process had enormous spiritual significance.

During the American Civil War hundreds of thousands of soldiers died far from home and their grieving families. Being embalmed meant that bodies could be safely transported and returned to their loved ones.

Nelson’s body was returned from the battle of Trafalgar preserved in a keg of brandy.

The embalming process has changed considerably over the years...

Burial

According to TheNDC Handbook says: "One anti-burial argument is that we hear many times that we need space. This is an urban myth. Here are some facts that may surprise you. More than half a million people die in the UK every year. If they were all buried it would take 2,000 years to use the same acreage of land that farmers leave as set-aside. If they were all natural burials think of the useful green spaces and wild life refuge this would create."

Natural burial is nothing new, like many aspect of life it is simply a return to old ways. There are many options available, some more environmentally affective than others. Your choice of burial space may of course depend on your religious affiliation. Should you choose to be buried, here are your options...

Cremation

In years gone by it was deemed that "the land should be kept for the living"; promoting cremation rather than burial. We now need to take a fresh look at this statement. We must investigate the damage being caused to our planet; being grateful for the way she supports us and in return we must give back in any way we know how.

Many people choose cremation believing it to be a cleaner, neater form of body disposal. Often, this is the case especially during the Covid19 pandemic. Most importantly, with awareness there are many things we can do to compensate whatever our choices...

Coffins

Avoid all hardwoods because trees take centuries to grow! Most importantly shun coffins full of toxic glue with gold coloured plastic handles.

Whether for burial or cremation, natural materials such as sustainable pine, willow, cane, and sea-grass, bamboo, wool or cardboard, are the most thoughtful choice.

Coffins are available bearing a transferred image illustrating any theme you choose or order one to be personalised especially...