Your environmental funeral options
Eco friendly funerals
If our planet is precious to you or your loved one, it’s natural you would wish your funeral to follow environmental principles.
Eco-funerals in New Zealand are imperfect, because of our lack of natural cemeteries and alternatives to cremation, but there are things you can do to minimise your funeral’s impact on our planet.
Caring for your body sustainably
The embalming process uses aldehyde chemicals. If environmental impact is important to you, you may wish to consider alternatives to embalming. Your funeral director can discuss your options and help you make the right choice.
If you’re being buried soon after death you may choose not to have your body embalmed. If this is appropriate, your body will be gently washed, dressed, and kept in a cool environment. We recommend funerals take place within 3-5 days.
We also offer environmental embalming options. These use plant-based solutions approved by the Green Burial Association. They’re only effective for a short while, so we recommend funerals take place within 3-5 days.
Green burial in Christchurch
Natural burial principles allow our bodies to return to the earth with minimal environmental impact. Bodies are buried in conditions that encourage speedy decomposition and the regeneration of natural forest above the graves.
Natural burials usually follow these guidelines:
- A shallow plot within the living soil layer.
- No embalming.
- The body is dressed in natural, biodegradable materials.
- Natural, biodegradable casket or shroud.
Plots are filled with living soil and planted with native trees and shrubs.
Christchurch City Council offers Green Burials, which follow most natural burial principles, in the Diamond Harbour Memorial Gardens Cemetery and Yaldhurst Cemetery.
We offer a range of eco-friendly caskets, including natural pine sourced from sustainably grown plantations, hand woven willow, and biodegradable wool with an organic cotton lining. These caskets are certified for use in natural burial sites.
Minimising environmental impact at the funeral
Other ways to minimise the environmental impact of a funeral include:
- Locally sourced, seasonal flowers and foliage.
- Recycled service sheets (or no service sheets).
- Minimising the use of vehicles.
- Simple, seasonal catering.
Talk to us about a more sustainable funeral
We can help you understand your options and advise ways to reduce the environmental impact of your funeral.