What Is a Green Funeral?

August 31st, 2022
What Is a Green Funeral?

Green funerals are a minimalist type of funeral, and their popularity is spreading across Canada. In today’s blog, we are going to address what a green funeral is. The definition of a green funeral varies somewhat depending on location, but we will offer the general idea on what makes a green funeral stand apart.


The first characteristic of a green funeral is that there is no embalming of the body. Some religions—such as Judaism—already prohibit embalming. The idea behind not embalming is that embalming is typically done using one or more toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde. These chemicals are hazardous to the person doing the embalming and also to the environment.

The problems associated with not embalming are that a body breaks down much more quickly without embalming. For this reason, bodies typically cannot be transported over long distances, and you cannot have an open casket if the body is not embalmed. In addition, the body would need to be buried fairly quickly.


In a green funeral, the casket is either some material that will biodegrade quickly, or there is no casket used at all. Instead of a casket, some natural cloth material is used as a shroud to wrap the body.


Regarding the burial, with a green funeral, the plot is not necessarily marked, nor is there a headstone. The purpose of this feature is to make the ground look at natural as possible. The disadvantage for the mourner is that, at a later date, you may not be able to find the exact location of burial.

A green funeral may be cheaper, but not necessarily. There are still rules to follow for a green funeral, and this choice is currently the exception rather than the rule.

Not all funeral businesses offer a green alternative. They may, however, offer some green aspects to what is a traditional funeral. The only way to know for sure, is to call around and find out what is available in your area.

If you need some help planning a funeral, please feel free to call us at (604) 463-8121 in Vancouver, and we can assist you with your funeral needs.

Maple Ridge Funeral Chapel and Crematorium, based in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, provides has been providing compassionate funeral services on the Lower Mainland for over 60 years. We have deep roots in the community and take great pride in caring ethics and exemplary service. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about funeral services, please call us at (604) 463-8121.