How Can Cremations Help the Planet?

Going green involves paying close attention to how our decisions impact the environment. Is a product you buy made from biodegradable materials? Did the manufacturer of your smartphone source components responsibly? If you, as a consumer, take it upon yourself to become more conscious of the environment, businesses will take notice and adjust their practices accordingly.

If your loved one has always been environmentally conscientious, you should know the cremation process has less impact on ecosystems than traditional burials. U.S. Funerals noted the latter process involves burying embalming chemicals and sometimes steel or concrete depending on the casket’s composition.

However, there are ways to make cremation even more environmentally gentle. What options do you have?

What You Can Do to Increase Cremation’s Eco-Friendliness

While much of the cremation process will be out of your hands, there are decisions you can make that will lead to a green cremation. Beyond The Pall’s Caroline Vuyadinov outlined three options that can reduce a cremation’s environmental impact:

  • Dress your loved one appropriately: We’re not talking about what’s socially acceptable. Vuyadinov recommended your loved one wears biodegradable clothing or a shroud when entering the cremation chamber. Fumes from burning synthetic or polyester attire will enter the atmosphere if you neglect to do so.
  • Choose an eco-friendly urn: While granite urns may be appealing, they do come at a cost to the environment. There are plenty of businesses out there offering urns made from eco-friendly materials. Some biodegradable urns even contain seeds, which may add a nice symbolic touch to your loved one’s departure: He or she is contributing to new life.
  • Scatter the ashes: You also have the option of not using an urn at all and simply scattering the ashes in a designated area. Many states require permits to scatter in certain places, so be sure to check with local authorities before spreading your loved one’s ashes.

Growing Trees

If you have a bit of property, you always have the option of scattering your loved one’s ashes close to home. Bios Urn, a biodegradable urn that contains a seed, promises to help families that want to use their loved ones’ ashes to grow trees and keep them close.

How does it work? The Bios Urn is constructed like a cone. At the bottom of the cone are your loved one’s ashes. On top is a prepared soil mix that encourages water flow and mixes with the ashes. Devoid of glues or chemical additives, the urn is completely environmentally friendly.

Imagine planting this urn in your backyard, and watching your loved one’s tree grow as the years pass. It will be a nice reminder that he or she is contributing to life in the wake of their passing.

You have many options when it comes to planning a green cremation. By contributing to the improvement of the environment, your loved one’s legacy can live on.


The Neptune Society is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of affordable cremation services. Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan cremation services in advance, we are always available to assist you and your family.

Call 1-800-NEPTUNE (800-637-8863) today or contact us online to learn more.