Green Funerals

Environmentally friendly options for funerals 

Environmentally friendly choices are becoming more popular.

An Eco Funeral is simply thinking about the environment when planning a funeral.

This is not just in the choice of coffin/casket and the materials they are made from, 

but also in how the deceased is cared for through the preparation and 

even extending to decisions about burial or cremation or natural burial.

Coffin / Casket Choices

We have several environmentally friendly coffins/caskets options available:


Willow Caskets are 100% hand woven basketry with rope handles.

Willow caskets are woven and therefore do not depend on toxic glues, varnish, plastics, or metals. In the right soil conditions willow tends to decompose much more quickly than traditional materials.

Raw Pine

Enviro Coffins are solid plantation grown radiata pine with a raw finish, calico lining and either rope or timber handles. 

Using timber encourages the expansion of forestry, which reduces the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Timber is biodegradable which means it can be broken down naturally by microorganisms when it comes to the end of its lifespan.


Hundreds of years ago, everyone was buried in wool. It’s the ultimate sustainable material — sheep continually grow more of it! Wool is completely biodegradable and loved by natural burial grounds. 

Available for a prearranged funeral choice.

Cardboard Coffins

The environmental friendliness of cardboard coffins is unclear. Imported cardboard varieties may be shipped from other countries, from raw material of unknown origin.

Burial or Cremation

There is conflicting information available on burial or cremation being more environmentally friendly.  A lot of the information on-line compares the American style of burial where they have concrete vaults and steel coffins and embalm the deceased with chemicals – this is not a traditional Australian / Tasmanian burial.  Tasmania does not use concrete vaults so the coffin is buried directly in the ground to decompose. Except for the Mersey Vale Lawn Cemetery (new ground) where concrete retaining walls have been used in order to make use of low lying waste ground.

A ‘natural’ or ‘green’ burial is an approach which aims to help ‘return the body to the earth’ in the most natural way, while maintaining respect for mourning through safe rituals that have meaning for the living, the dead, and the environment. Characteristics of a ‘natural’ or ‘green’ burial typically include preparing the body without chemical preservatives or disinfectants; dressing the body in biodegradable clothing; and burying the body in biodegradable container, casket, shroud or urn, without a grave liner or burial vault.

Peter Vincent says all burials in Tasmania have always been green. The choices such as coffin type, mortuary care, memorialisation of the grave are those which can make them more environmentally friendly.

Mortuary Care

Embalming is rarely necessary unless required for a deceased is to be taken to their final resting place on an international flight (airline rules). Chemicals today used in the mortuary are much more eco friendly with formaldehyde being eliminated.  Often tiny amounts may be used for micro detail in preparing a loved one for viewing, but in most cases this is not necessary.

If you wish for an Eco-funeral either no mortuary preparation can be done or natural washing preparation only.