Survey shows public demand for greener funerals

A survey, conducted by The Natural Burial Company, has provided clear evidence of public demand for greener funerals, and for more information to be available regarding environmentally friendly funeral options.

Many people are looking to be more environmentally friendly in their lives. However, there has previously been little research regarding demand for green and environmentally friendly funerals. Therefore, The Natural Burial Company conducted a public survey between July and September, the results of which are clear.

The conclusions of the survey are simple. Many want a greater choice of greener options and transparency in information available. More information, and availability of green funeral options is essential. Allowing the bereaved an “Informed Choice” is key.

The survey asked 20 questions, with the opportunity to provide additional information regarding personal attitudes and opinions on green funerals.

Key findings from the survey are as follows.

73% of respondents stated that they would prefer to use the services of a funeral company that worked to strong environmental standards. A further 25% stated that they probably would.

98% of respondents believed that funeral service providers should have information readily available regarding green products and services. 67% thought this should be mandatory.

When asked “what would stop you from arranging an environmentally friendly funeral” 67% stated availability of services, 41% cost and 22% lack of knowledge/awareness.

Knowledge of the cost of greener funerals also clearly illustrates confusion amongst the public. 44% believed a green funeral to be more expensive and 25% less expensive than a traditional funeral service.

Regarding planning of their own funeral service, 56% have made no specific arrangements but stated that they want their funeral to be green.

When asked specific questions, 84% stated that they would select a coffin with “green” handles such as wood or rope, rather than the industry standard coloured plastic options. A further 5% answered that they would, dependent on cost.

This attitude also encompasses other related services. 83% said that they did not want floral tributes wrapped in plastic, and 75% would prefer not to have tributes in plastic trays or using florist foam/oasis.

Christopher Doggett, Managing Director of The Natural Burial Company said “It is clear that many wish for greener funerals, and want a greater understanding of what is available to them in time of need. Having a range of greener services and ensuring transparency regarding available options is so important”.

The Natural Burial Company will be conducting a similar survey in the summer of 2024 to gauge changes in demand and awareness.

For further information, including the full survey results, please contact Christopher at [email protected]

With thanks to Lili, The Countryside Celebrant, and Rachel for the photograph.