There is growing interest in sustainable 'Green Funerals' in Australia, which aim to make as little impact as possible on the environment. ie a reduced carbon footprint
Families wishing to have a Green Funeral for their loved one generally choose an environmentally sustainable coffin, choose not to have the body embalmed or washed with disinfectant, dress the body in biodegradable clothing, do not releasing balloons, and choose a natural burial site.
Green Funeral considerations:
- Dress the body in cotton, linen, wool, a shroud or other biodegradable clothing
- Do not place jewellery or other items that will not decompose on the body or in the coffin
- Choose a sustainable coffin made from natural or recycled timber, cardboard, bamboo, seagrass or wicker and without metal handles
- Prepare the body without the use of chemicals
- Do not embalm the body
- Consider a grave marker with a light footprint (natural burials usually use GPS coordinates)
- Engage a Funeral Director who knows, understands and/or specialises in Green Funerals
- Prepare an e-copy Order of Service that can be emailed to attendees
- Plant a tree in memory of your loved one
Natural burial grounds in Australia:
- ACT - Gungahlin Cemetery
- NSW – Sydney Natural Burial Park, Kemps Creek (western Sydney); Lismore Bushland Cemetery (northern NSW); Shoalhaven
- QUEENSLAND - QLD Gold Coast - Alberton Cemetery
- SOUTH AUSTRALIA - Enfield Memorial Park – Wirra Wonga (see photo); Pilyu Yarta – Smithfield Memorial Park
- TASMANIA - Kingston Cemetery
- VICTORIA – Lilydale Memorial Park, Healesville Cemetery, Carlsruhe Cemetery, Kurweeton Road Cemetery (upright burials)
- WESTERN AUSTRALIA - Pinaroo Valley Memorial Park
Burial vs Cremation
There is debate about whether burial is more sustainable than cremation. With technological innovations the cremation industry is reducing its emissions. The South Australian Environmental Protection Authority has produced this document (article not dated).
For the latest research, contact your local crematorium, environment department or use your preferred search engine for online articles.