Carbon Neutral Funeral Services

Our Carbon Neutral Program

Australian Green Funerals provides a Carbon Neutral Program for both green burials and cremations, as a standard feature. We provide services in the Melbourne and Sydney communities.


In this program, our funeral directors provide carbon offsets to neutralise the carbon dioxide emissions or 'carbon footprint', that are produced by each green burial or cremation that we provide for our clients. 


Australian Green Funerals provides carbon offsets that include contributions to reforestation in Australia with biodiverse, native, tree species. As these trees age, they consume or 'sequester' carbon dioxide. 


The reforestation also restores habitats for native animals whose habitats may have been destroyed by clearing land and industrial development. 


Australian Green Funerals uses the services of the Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund to provide this feature as part of our a standard funeral package. 

  • International studies have found that the funeral service or ceremony is a major source of greenhouse emissions. The emissions created include fuel consumption for the transport of the loved one who has sadly passed over, and the transport of mourners in attendance. 

Additionally, the transport of items for the service including the flowers, and the food and beverages for the wake, is also a factor. 


Australian Green Funerals makes every effort to minimise the use of vehicles and encourages local sourcing of flowers and catering. We also use items made from recycled materials, and we recycle and reuse common items, where appropriate, to minimise the carbon emissions associated with production, and avoid unnecessary waste. 


The greenhouse gas emissions will vary, according to the type of funeral service provided and the number of mourners in attendance.


For example, with a direct cremation, there is no funeral service and there are no mourners in attendance, so the emissions (not including the cremation) are limited to the transport of the loved one and our Australian Green Funerals support staff. 

  • Research comparing the greenhouse gas emissions for cremation and burial, has found that cremation releases less carbon dioxide than burial, when considered for the long term. 

It has been found that approximately 400 kilograms of carbon dioxide is produced for each cremation. 


Australian Green Funerals recognises that these figures are based on cremating remains and coffins made from wood and other materials such as medium-density fibreboard (MDF). 


We recommend the use of eco-coffins made from recycled cardboard, which will combust more quickly than wood and assist to minimise the carbon emissions from cremation. 

  • Research regarding a burial in a cemetery, has indicated that the initial carbon footprint is substantially less than a cremation. 

However, over the period of many years, there is an aggregation of the continued upkeep of the grave site with watering, mowing the lawn and other maintenance, totalling a greater level of emissions for a burial than a cremation. Additionally, the use of land for burials and the making and placement of the headstone have a significant impact.

  • A natural burial is a very eco-friendly option. 

With natural burial, the loved one is placed in a biodegradable shroud, and the burial takes place in a shallow grave, at a natural, forest-like site, and with no memorial tombstone. 


Natural burials are available from Australian Green Funerals as a non-standard, custom option. Please enquire for more information. 


Call John on 0438 318 802 to arrange an environmentally friendly burial or cremation.


References


Additionally, these independent news and reference sources have discussed Green funeral options. These excellent articles may be valuable, objective reading for families considering a Green funeral. The publishers have no affiliation with Australian Green Funerals.


New York Times  - Thinking About Having a ‘Green’ Funeral? Here’s What to Know.

ABC - Green Funerals Growing in Popularity.

The Guardian - Should I Be Buried or Cremated?

Wikipedia - Natural Burial.