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Are Natural Burials Affordable?

Posted by Tracey Gelder on
photo of natural burial ground from above

In a recent article discussing five myths about green funerals, we briefly discussed the misconception that natural burial costs are likely to be more than those for traditional funerals.

With the cost of living – let alone dying – still being an issue for many people in the UK, and with environmental concerns becoming ever more pressing, we think that it’s important to examine this concept in more depth.

Of course, the cost of a funeral shouldn’t really be judged in financial terms alone, because it can be just as damaging to the planet as the pocket of whoever is paying for it.

But, on this occasion, to allay the worries of those who want to do the right thing for the environment, but might think they wouldn’t be able to afford an eco burial, we’re going to explore four reasons why that isn’t – and shouldn’t be – the case.

4 reasons why a natural burial can be less expensive

The coffin or casket can be a lot simpler

A traditional wooden coffin – even a relatively inexpensive one – can be one of the more significant costs associated with many burials. And that’s before you start adding costly extras such as brass nameplates, expensive linings and wreath holders.

Although you can pay more for some of the fancier biodegradable coffins and caskets, they generally offer considerably more choice at the affordable end of the market.

Hessian coffins are particularly inexpensive – as well as being 100% biodegradable – and they can still look pretty and are better for the future of the planet.

No Embalming

Because a body that has been embalmed cannot be interred at a natural burial site, that’s one cost that you can immediately eliminate.

Embalming is normally carried out to prevent a body from decaying and therefore allow friends and family the opportunity to view it ahead of burial without it being an unpleasant experience.

However, the fluids used for embalming contain chemicals such as formaldehyde, methanol, sodium borate, sodium nitrate and glycerin, none of which are going to do the environment any good.

If a body is buried containing embalming fluids, those chemicals will eventually enter the soil. So avoiding that cost is a real win-win situation.

No headstone

Most standard graveyards are dominated by rows of headstones of various sizes, from the small and simple to large family vaults. The cost of these can run into hundreds – even thousands – of pounds.

At our woodland burial and meadow burial sites, however, we want to ensure that the landscape remains a beautiful place that encourages plants, pollinators and other flora and fauna, so we don’t allow headstones either. 

All our burials do include a slate memorial plaque in the price, however, so the final resting place will be marked for future visits, but it will be a lot friendlier to your pocket as well as the environment.

A simpler, more personalised service

Traditional funerals usually encompass more conventions than hardwood coffins and expensive headstones. The cost of limousines, pallbearers, flowers, catering and order sheets can quickly start to mount up, but often these are included because they are expected rather than being an active choice on the part of those organising the funeral.

With a green burial, it’s easier to keep things simple and to focus more closely on the character and personality of the person being remembered rather than spending on extras and unnecessary adornments. That usually also makes it a more affordable funeral choice, as well as a more meaningful one.


Here at Tithe Green Natural Burial, we’re committed to keeping our prices as low as possible. If you’d like to know more about our affordable burial choices in our woodland and wildflower meadowland sites in the East Midlands, please get in touch with us today.

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