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5 reasons a natural burial is better for the environment

Posted by Tracey Gelder on
5 reasons a natural burial is better for the environment

All the time, more and more of us are becoming increasingly aware of the damage being done to the planet by the way we live our lives. And as we start to demand that the companies we use do things differently, businesses everywhere are responding by lining up to showcase their ‘green’ credentials. 

Some claims are more convincing than others, with the term ‘greenwashing’ now having officially entered the language to describe companies that are claiming to be more environmentally friendly (or less environmentally unfriendly) than they actually are.

Here at Tithe Green, we’re proud of our green credentials, but if you’re wondering whether our natural burials really are the better choice for the environment than the alternatives, here are five great reasons you should choose a green burial so that you can have a minimal negative impact on the planet in death as well as in life.

how doo natural burials help the environment


Five Reasons a natural burial helps the environment

1. Only fully biodegradable materials allowed

Many traditional burials use coffins made out of non-sustainable hardwoods such as mahogany and oak, plus a range of other materials (for the handles, lining, etc.) that are not biodegradable at all.

At Tithe Green, we only allow coffins that are fully biodegradable to be used in our burial plots – that could include coffins made from cardboard, willow or wicker, or the body could even just be wrapped in a shroud.

2. No greenhouse gases

We fully accept that cremation should be a necessary part of the range of funeral solutions available. There is currently only so much land available for burials and we do, after all, offer plots for ashes at Tithe Green as well as full burials.

However, there’s no escaping the fact that the act of cremation uses fossil fuels and that an estimated 400kg of CO2 is released into the atmosphere for every body cremated.

Reducing the number of cremations by increasing the opportunity and land available for natural burials will have a positive long-term impact on the health of the planet.

3. No chemicals leach into the soil

To help preserve the body of someone recently deceased, bodies are often embalmed so that family and friends can visit them at the undertakers, and see them in as close a state to how they would have looked alive as possible.

However, some of the chemicals used to embalm a body are poisonous if they get into the soil or the atmosphere. For instance, the presence of formaldehyde increases the potential for lymphoma, leukaemia and certain brain cancers.

At Tithe Green, bodies that have been embalmed are not allowed in our natural burial ground, so that the area stays safe for the flora and fauna that are flourishing there.

4. Supports local biodiversity

Talking of local flora and fauna, our natural burial grounds incorporate over 70 acres of wildflowers and woodland, providing the perfect environment for all kinds of plants, flowers, birds, insects and mammals to thrive.

By attracting and safeguarding essential pollinators, we also ensure a beautiful and diverse landscape that makes for a calming and restorative location to remember and honour lost friends and family.  

5. Best long-term use of the land

When a traditional cemetery is full, there’s not much more you can do with the land. Yes, people can still visit the graves, but essentially the land becomes practically useless.

When a natural burial ground is full, to all appearances it’s almost indistinguishable from any other field or woodland, meaning that it can be an amenity for everyone. And because the bodies need to lie there undisturbed, you can count on it staying that way for hundreds of years into the future.


With two stunning sites in the East Midlands, Tithe Green provides environmentally-friendly funerary solutions in our stunning wildflower meadows that are helping to boost local bee populations, or in one of our woodland sites where a new tree will be planted directly above every burial spot. 

Contact us now to find out more or book your natural burial spot.

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