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Why Should I Have a Green Burial?


The advantage and disadvantages of an eco-friendly green funeral

Before I start this, I want to make something clear. I am not a die-hard eco-warrior. I drive a car, I drink coffee out of disposable coffee cups, and I'm generally not as eco-friendly as I could be.

However, I am aware of 'the green issue' and of the environment, and I do try to make choices in my day to day life that help the planet. This is a simple as walking rather than driving now and again, trying to recycle, and making an effort to try and use eco-friendly companies.

The various religions of the world have different versions of what happens when we die, but the majority agree that our planet is a precious thing that needs preserving. It is a limited resource that can't be exploited forever without consequences.

If we were all to make a small change though, it would literally change the world. It's easy to say 'Even if i do change, it won't matter, it's China and India's fault!' but then nothing will change. When it comes to global warming, and saving the planet, individuals can make a difference.

A decision that I have made is on that effects me after I have died, the decision to have a green funeral. To me, this is an incredibly easy choice, that has a minimal impact on my life, whilst the benefits to the planet are huge.

Personally, the idea of cutting down a tree that has taken years to grow, so it can be used to make a coffin that is then either cremated or buried is madness. The alternative is a green, eco coffin. Typically made from fast growing plants such as willow or bamboo, they offer a fantastic alternative to hard wood coffins. As these materials grow so quickly (Bamboo can grow nearly one metre in just 24 hours!) they are far more sustainable than traditional coffin materials. Certain plants such as Abaca also have the benefit of absorbing more carbon dioxide than it emits. This is why my company Caring Coffins supplies eco friendly coffins.

Whilst still not mainstream in the UK, green funerals are growing in popularity and in other parts of the world are now mainstream. One of the main benefits of an environmentally friendly funeral is the cost. As the materials used are sustainable, they are also significantly cheaper. A bamboo coffins can be bought for £350 (a typical example can be found here), whilst a traditional coffin is easily in excess of a thousand pounds. Personally, I prefer the look of an eco coffin as well. Bamboo and willow make truly beautiful coffins. The more natural, homespun aesthetic seems more fitting for a coffin.

Whilst a green burial isn't for everyone, it is a viable option that people should be aware of. It isn't solely for die-hard 'tree huggers' but is something that should be considered by anyone who wants to leave the planet in good condition for future generations.