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Eco-funerals: honouring the deceased in a sustainable way

As a society, we are becoming ever more aware of the need to care for the environment, a concern that is felt in all aspects of our daily lives, including the funeral sector. In this context, many families choose to say goodbye to their loved ones with an eco-funeral. It is a way of honouring their memory without putting the health of our planet at risk. An eco-funeral is an option that respects both the deceased and the environment, and so it is worth knowing what kind of advantages a green funeral offers and what to take into account when choosing it over other alternatives.

What are eco-funerals?

An ecological funeral is much more than a fad or a trend: it is a more responsible way of saying goodbye to a loved one and it contributes to a more sustainable and healthier world for future generations.

Definition of an eco-funeral

An eco-funeral is a funeral service designed to minimise the environmental impact when burying a loved one. To achieve this, funeral services use sustainable practices and materials, from biodegradable coffins to procedures that ensure the reduction of polluting emissions, as is the case with direct cremation. There is a harmony between paying respect to the deceased, as he or she deserves, and preserving the environment.

Origin and evolution of eco-funerals

Eco-funerals emerged from a growing concern about the environmental impact caused by traditional funeral practices. The evolution of this approach reflects a change in the perception of death and mourning, as well as demonstrating a strong respect for nature.

The availability of eco-friendly funeral services in Spain, which are already widespread in other European countries, is highly valued by an increasing number of families.

Importance of ecological funerals and burials

Beyond the wishes of the deceased not to aggravate the state of our planet at their funeral, and to keep a clear conscience, choosing a green funeral has many advantages that are worth taking into account.

Environmental impact of traditional funerals

Traditional funerals can have a major environmental impact ranging from the felling of trees in order to make coffins, to the use of chemicals in the embalming process, not to mention the emissions generated by transportation to the burial site. All these variables are taken into account when planning an ecological funeral with a clear objective in mind: to reduce the ecological footprint related to this type of ceremony.

Benefits of choosing an eco-funeral

Choosing a green funeral not only reduces the environmental impact of this important moment, but also allows families to be at peace with their ecological values. The use of biodegradable materials and the promotion of biodiversity allow eco-funerals to be a perfect way to honour the life of the deceased while respecting the planet.

Main elements of an eco-funeral

Eco-funerals are characterised by a focus on minimal environmental impact. To achieve this, it is necessary to think about how to make the elements that are essential for this type of ceremony more ecological. 

Location choice of the funeral

The location choice is fundamental in an eco-funeral. When organising this type of funeral, it is preferable to opt for open-air spaces or sites with sustainable practices where the connection with nature facilitates a respectful tribute at all levels.

In addition, facilitating the arrival of attendees via public transport or electric vehicle fleets will further accentuate the concern for reducing the ecological footprint.

Biodegradable products and accessories

We have an extensive catalogue of coffins and urns made from biodegradable materials, as well as the option to print funeral programmes on recycled paper. The products used in an eco-funeral should always be selected for their ability to integrate back into the earth without damaging the ecosystem.

Alternatives to traditional flowers

If you want to do as little damage to the planet as possible, it is possible to replace traditional floral arrangements with alternatives such as living plants or local seasonal flowers. These options reduce the carbon footprint associated with their transportation and they also contribute to local biodiversity.

Planning an eco-funeral

Planning an eco-funeral requires attention to detail to ensure that every aspect of the funeral service reflects a commitment to sustainability. 

Steps to planning

The first steps of an eco-funeral begin with choosing a funeral service provider, such as Stelae, who understands and shares these ecological values.

This is then followed by choosing which sustainable products and services to include in the funeral and deciding where it will be held.

Tips for a celebration that has meaning

In order to make the eco-funeral an honourable and satisfying occasion for everyone attending, it is best to personalise the service in a way that reflects the passions and values of the deceased.

To do this, in addition to incorporating natural elements, it is necessary to include features of traditional funerals, such as sharing meaningful recollections and encouraging the active participation of those in attendance.

Legal and logistical aspects

Not all places are suitable for eco-funerals, nor are all funeral homes capable of handling eco-funerals. It is essential to pay attention to local regulations regarding ecological funerals and cremations, including the use of natural burial grounds or the scattering of ashes in permitted areas.

That's why it's important to place your trust in funeral companies with experience in this type of funeral. They will take into account aspects such as sustainable transport and waste minimisation, ensuring that the eco-funeral meets all the necessary requirements that need to be considered.

And by no means does an eco-funeral have to be more expensive than a traditional funeral. In fact, you only have to look at the price of the direct cremation service and its characteristics to realise that, as well as being more environmentally friendly, this type of funeral can also be much more cost-effective.