Why green is the new black: 5 ways funerals are becoming eco-friendly

The old-school approach to funerals has shifted over the past few years, and one of the strongest trends is for memorials that are eco-friendly.

At a time when recycling and concern for the planet drives so much in our lives, it’s not surprising that we want to die considerately too. “It’s being driven by consideration for next generation and our surroundings, as well as a love for Scotland’s stunning countryside. It helps that eco-friendly funerals don’t have to cost more than a traditional funeral – and many times they can be cheaper [??DON’T KNOW IF THAT’S TRUE?],” says Affertons’ Paul Craigie, who adds: “Biogredable coffins are just the beginning.”

Cut down on the embalming

Many undertakers will embalm as a matter of course, but as well as being expensive it is one of the biggest problems in our field, because whether the choice is cremation or burial it can release toxins and carcinogens into our environment. Despite having Scotland’s most highly qualified embalmer on the team, Affertonsonly embalms when absolutely necessary, regardless of whether it is an eco-memorial or not.

Coffins that are kind to the earth

As well as an extensive range of beautiful traditional coffins, we also supply biodegradable ones made of wicker or bamboo. We can even source biodegradable shrouds for burial made of organic cotton or wool and beautifully hand stitched. Then whatever choices the family makes, they know they are not releasing pollutants into the environment.

Into the woods

Reports of cremation releasing hazards into the atmosphere have led to a growth in burials, especially woodland burials, that aim to ‘Leave No Trace’. There are several woodland burial sites local to Dundee. Birkhill Cemetery, owned by the council, on the north-west of the city, has planted trees as grave markers since 2000, while Cairnbrae Burial Ground north of the city opened recently, offering a natural, rural resting place for loved ones.

Grave matters

Increasing concern about the climate and environment has included a realisation that marking the grave can have consequences, too, and even those opting for cremation are choosing a natural marker rather than a gravestone or urn. Planting a tree, which will help capture carbon as well as provide a beautiful place for visitors, is seen as a positive and alternative way to celebrate a loved one’s life while giving back to future generations.

Size is everything

Concerns over traffic pollution are driving some families to opt for smaller services that minimise travel, especially after the restrictions of Covid, have led to the introduction of online facilities. Our new premises in Dundee, opening in June, give families the opportunity to livestream the event to friends and families around the world.