Sustainability is more than just a trend, it’s a necessary way of life if we want the planet to be able to sustain us moving forward. There are so many eco-swaps you can do to live your greenest life possible including bringing your own shopping bags, travel mugs, and reusable straws. But did you know it’s also possible to keep being green after death?
We’ve already looked at some ways to have an eco-funeral, and how to have a woodland burial. If you want to have a sustainable memorial service, it’s best to write your wishes out in your will. That way your family will know exactly what type of service you want. Don’t have one? Check out why you should make a will.
Ways to have a sustainable memorial service
We’re not saying you can’t have any greenery, but to keep things green from an environmental perspective, skip the large floral arrangements and cut flowers. If people want to show their condolences, ask for donations to be sent to an eco-charity of your choosing, instead of sending flowers. For the service itself, try using potted plants 🪴 that can later be planted in a garden, or placed around the house. Paper, or artificial flowers are also a great alternative as they can be used on the day, and reused at some point in the future, or you can sell/donate them to someone else who needs them.
Food & Drink 🍽
When serving food at a post-memorial reception, think about sourcing the food locally. Not only will it taste better, but it will have a shorter transport route, which is much better for the planet. For beverages, give each guest one glass and encourage them to reuse that so you don’t need to wash them after each use. You can also consider serving vegetarian dishes for a lower impact on the planet. Plant-based meals consume fewer resources to produce, and you won’t be harming animals in the process.
Choosing the right location is an easy way to have a sustainable memorial service. Ask yourself, where are the majority of attendees coming from? If you choose a location central to your guests, people will have to travel a much shorter distance, which means less carbon emissions. You can also encourage people to carpool, cycle, or take public transit. Outdoor memorial services held in parks, forests, or on beaches are great because they don’t require the use of any electricity. You can also use the natural scenery as decoration, saving money and resources!
The most obvious choice for a sustainable memorial service is to do away with all the programs and order or service so as to not waste paper. We don’t think you need to skip them, but you should probably think about the actual number of ones you need. Every person attending doesn’t need one, so print one for every two or three people — encourage sharing! Also, consider printing the order of service on plantable seed paper. This way, once you’re done with them, they can be planted and sustain new life 🌸 — a fitting end to the day.
At Bequest, we know it’s important to plan for every eventuality. In order to make sure you’ve got everything covered, you can use our funeral planning checklist.