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How to hold an eco-friendly funeral

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With more people becoming aware of the impact of human beings on the environment, many are choosing to be more eco-friendly both in life and in death; and environmentally-friendly funerals are becoming increasingly popular. But with the average cremation using around 100 litres of fuel, many now want their own funeral to leave a minimal impact on the environment, and now wondering how way to hold an eco-friendly funeral.

Luckily, Golden Leaves International is on hand with this guide to everything you need to know about holding an eco-friendly funeral.
And to make sure that plan is carried out perfectly when the time comes, get in touch with their expert team today for help with everything from picking the right environmentally-friendly venue to finding green suppliers.

The 10 main principles for holding a green funeral

First you need to know what makes a funeral eco-friendly, and there are 10 main principles. These are:

  • Avoiding single-use products
  • Using fewer non-biodegradable products
  • Using more natural products.
  • Using locally-sourced products
  • Reducing the use of toxic chemicals
  • Using less non-renewable energy
  • Reducing toxic emissions
  • Using fewer ornaments
  • Giving back to nature
  • Setting an example

And using those, here are Golden Leaves´ suggestions for how to keep your funeral eco-friendly, from the burial to the flowers and tributes.

Green burials

Green burials now are similar to how they used to be before modern funerals, and are aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and protecting natural habitats.
No cement is used graves to store bodies as producing it consumes large amounts of energy, and no pesticides or fertiliser are used on graves either. No embalming fluids are also used as they contain chemicals which are harmful to the environment.
Coffins are made of biodegradable materials and buried less deep to aid decomposition.

Ecological coffins

As burial or cremation is required in Spain within 48 hours, there are not many ecological cemeteries. However, the first to open was the Roques Blanques Regional Cemetery, a 50-hectare plot in the Sierra Natural de Collserola where since 2007 ecological funerals have been available.
The cemetery allows biodegradable urns to be buried there and has green niches with Mediterranean aromatic herbs and wooden plaques with the names of the deceased.
Other locations in Spain have created gardens of rest within their cemeteries where the ashes of the deceased without damaging the environment. They include the Puente Genil Cemetery in Albacete and the Les Pruelles Cemetery in Sitges.
Contact Golden Leaves International for suppliers of eco-friendly coffins and where to hold your ecological funeral.

Less paper

Going green, even after death, can often be as simple as sending digital invites to a funeral or memorial instead of their paper alternatives. This also cuts down on the costs of printing.
You can also encourage others to be more environmentally friendly too by not printing the invitation and details off.
And if you’re having a programme, you could include it in the same email or social media publication, or you could have a QR code made with the details which attendees can scan with their smartphone to access the details. For those who may not have access to a smartphone or not understand the technology, you can project the programme during the service.

Tributes

If you are thinking of giving favours to funeral guests and are concerned about the environment, why not give them something which can have a green positive effect on nature? This could be saplings or seed packets, or blooming remembrance cards and plantable thank you cards, which are recycled paper cards which contain seeds.
They can be put into the ground, the card will decompose and the seeds will grow.
And a beautiful and eco-friendly alternative to flowers or wreaths is biodegradable confetti. Natural and dye-free, it can also be made from real, dry-frozen petals or from other materials such as rice paper. This confetti is water-soluble and non-toxic.
For guests who wish to bring flowers to the funeral to show their respects, you could instead ask them to make a donation to an environmental charity or plant a tree in remembrance.

Sustainable food

Following the funeral, when holding a wake you can also keep things green by choosing organic foods produced in healthier ecosystems where the land, water and air are protected. There are also organic beverages, including wine, sparkling wines and beers.
Where possible, shop locally and buy seasonal products which haven’t travelled far and where less energy will have been used in storing and transporting them. Local products will often come with less packing, or will have minimal packaging.
When shopping for food, if you need to look further afield, also choose Fair Trade.
This ensures that those who harvest and handle the goods have been ensured a proper wage and working conditions.
And finally, planning carefully and reducing the amount of food your order for a wake will prevent too much being wasted. If there are any leftovers, hopefully you can compost them or make sure that you dispose of them appropriately.

In conclusion

Holding an eco-friendly funeral in Spain is something that requires a little planning but is easily achieved by looking for green alternatives and speaking to experts who can help you.
If you want a pre-paid funeral plan in Spain, Golden Leaves International are the people to speak to. You can arrange your funeral in advance and pay for it at today’s prices no matter when it takes place. You are guaranteed to get the funeral that you want, respecting your wishes and taking the decision-making burden off your family’s shoulders when the time comes.
Contact Golden Leaves now to start planning your eco-friendly funeral.

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