Most coffins today are made from chipboard, MDF mouldings and often high quality plastic fittings. When burnt during cremation they release pollutants. The manufacture of chipboard uses formaldehyde, which is not considered to be environmentally friendly. Coffins that are far less harmful to the environment are now widely available, made from cardboard, wicker, bamboo and other materials. Google 'eco-coffins'
The cost to the environment of cremation
Each cremation uses about 285 kiloWatt hours of gas and 15kWh of electricity, roughly the same domestic energy demands as a single person for an entire month. Apart from the greenhouse gas emissions this creates, cremation is also responsible for 16% of the UK's mercury pollution (via our dental fillings), according to the Environment Agency.
Cryomation is a fully automated process which involves immersing a body in Liquid Nitrogen down to a temperate of -196 degrees at which point it becomes extremely brittle.The process then uses pressure to fragment the body into small particles allowing for the removal of any surgical implants and other foreign material. Further chemical and freeze drying processes produce sterile granular remains completely free of bacteria and viruses. A further accelerated composting option reduces the remains to around 20kg depending on the size of the body. More (external sites): the process and the benefits
Resomation is an alkaline-based process which "reduces the body to ash" and which according to the makers offers "excellent eco-credentials, both in terms of energy saving and carbon footprint reduction". More
Funerals and the environment
This page is part of our material about planning and leaving instructions concerning your own funeral. It deals with ecological considerations which for some people may be important