Eco-Friendly Funerals: Sustainable Burial Options

December 26th, 2023
Eco-Friendly Funerals: Sustainable Burial Options

In today’s blog article, we would like to talk about eco-friendly funerals and sustainable burial options. We are going to talk specifically about how this is in British Columbia where we are located. Burial options may vary in other provinces.

What Is Eco-Friendly?

The first question is how do you define “eco-friendly?” There are degrees of eco-friendliness. The concept is generally understood to mean having no or low impact on the environment. So, then, it is easier to define what eco-friendly is not rather than what it is.

A burial in which a body is embalmed, typically with some formaldehyde-based compound, is definitely not eco-friendly. Similarly, an elaborate casket with metal handles and trim is also not eco-friendly.

If you are going to elect for burial, then the most eco-friendly solution is to choose a plain wood box, either pine or cedar, without metal trim. You would also want to forego embalming. However, if there is no embalming, then you cannot have an open casket or viewing.

Note that some religions forbid embalming anyway, so it is not unusual not to embalm.

Another sign of eco-friendliness would be not to have a headstone and allow the burial area to look less manicured. There are some special cemeteries in British Columbia that look like this, but the ability to bury in one would depend on where you live, where you want the burial to take place, and space available.


Some people would argue that cremation is eco-friendly because if you spread the ashes, then you are not using up land for the body. However, there are also some religions that do not accept cremation as a viable choice. (Note that some religions promote only the use of cremation.)

In conclusion, what is available for an eco-friendly funeral option depends on how eco-friendly you want to be, your location, and your budget.

If you want to discuss eco-friendly options, please feel free to call us on the Lower Mainland in Langley at (604) 888-9895. We will be happy to discuss all of your funeral options.


Arbutus Funeral Service Inc., based in the Walnut Grove part of northwest Langley Township, British Columbia, is a family-owned and operated funeral home providing practical and affordable funeral services. We believe in cultural sensitivity and treat every client and family with respect and compassion. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about funeral services, please call (604) 888-9895.