Green Funerals: Less is More

What really is a green funeral? How do you assess it to know if it is truly ‘Green’ or not? Green Burials are a great choice but there a limited number of sites. There is Mowthorpe Garden of Rest at Terrington and also Westerdale Green Burials. To find one locally just search for ‘Green Burial Near Me’.

You can of course make better environmental choices for a ‘Green Cremation’, or at least a greener cremation.

The less resources put into anything make it better for the environment.

 OK, so this is a bit of plug for the latest eco coffin we have sourced as it’s worth mentioning.

 This coffin is a great alternative to the mdf chipboard coffins currently used.

Back in the early 1980’s coffins were usually made of solid wood. Then coffin manufacturers switched to chipboard/MDF and added a veneer. The problem is that chipboard and MDF is very damaging to our environment, when buried it leaves formaldehyde in the soil, which is a highly toxic substance, and when cremated it produces high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. It is for this reason we are all advised never to burn chipboard/MDF on stoves or in open fires. You can in fact be fined for doing it in certain borough’s.

These coffins have no formaldehyde however.

  • Produce up to 87% less greenhouse gas emissions during cremation*
  • Use up to 80% fewer trees in manufacturing**

They also utilize materials made from wood fibre sourced from suppliers accredited by sustainable forestry programs such as PEFC or FSC and contain a mix of virgin, recovered and recycled fibre.

 The other advantage is the handles are made of solid wood. The gold and brass effect handles on veneered coffins are made from single use plastics and we all know the issues caused by plastics.

 I asked the company for a demonstration of how strong the coffin is along with the wooden handles (the chromed plastic handles used on mdf veered coffins are not load bearing). Have a look.. it’s impressive!..

You won’t find many funeral homes talking about the environmental impact of veneered chipboard/MDF coffins and we are cremating over 16 million kgs each year.  But here at Special Send offs we are open and honest as we know that it is what our families expect and protecting the environment is the responsibility of us all.

If we all stopped using chipboard coffins and used LifeArt, this would drastically reduce pollution for the benefit of all our future generations.



* Based on a full life cycle analysis including emissions from cremation, expressed as kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per coffin. Cremation tests comparing empty coffins of particleboard/MDF with were replicated 6 times. 

** Between 55% and 80% fewer trees are used to produce our eco coffin compared to veneered coffins made from MDF or particleboard.