Thursday night’s Sustainable Living Festival event at Hub Melbourne showed lots of people want new funeral options. So we tried co-designing a low impact, sustainable funeral. First up, sustainability principles of inter-generational equity and environmental, social and economic domains. Everyone’s sharing and learning at SLF.  Environmental values had drawn them to the event. Hang on! we have to consider the important social and economic dimensions of sustainability in a funeral. No one wants to go broke from one for a start.

Some sustainable values that people identified as no-brainers for the sustainable funeral included:

  • locally sourced products
  • plain, paintable coffin (that social dimension, get people together around decorating the coffin)
  • benefits of rapidly disintegrating materials such as shrouds
  • garden or bush flowers
  • re-usable coffins (not everyone’s cup of tea)
  • travel arrangements that avoid multiple car transportation
  • low impact body storage

There were various statutory barriers that participants wanted to explore such as: regulatory constraints that might hamper the introduction of resumation, a water based compost process and policy or legislative constraints that hamper development of conservation and green burial.

For those interested in these options here’s good youTube footage starting (FF to 21.00) from Energy Now.