A guide to alternative funerals

Following our recent guide to alternative weddings, here’s an overview of alternative funerals ideas.

Green and Eco-Friendly Funerals

There are lots of alternatives to choose from, including woodland burials, cardboard, wicker, pandanus, willow, banana leaf or bamboo coffins. Other options include tree pods, burial at sea or in your garden.  However, there are strict rules to be followed.

Non-religious ceremonies

Registered celebrants can conduct a service in a location that isn’t a church, chapel or crematorium. This might be at home, at a natural burial site or in a hotel. Or even a beach.





Unattended or Direct Cremation

There is no service or ceremony. The deceased is taken directly to the crematorium.


Donate your body to Science

Medical students learn about life-saving surgical techniques when bodies are donated. Furthermore researchers looking for new treatments and cures for diseases also benefit.

Contacting your local university for an application pack is the place to start if you want to donate your body to science.

Cryonic Preservation

Yes, it does exist outside of Hollywood!  Around 150 people have been preserved, hoping they can be woken in the future following advances in medical science to bring them back to life.



Gunther Von Hagens is famous for his controversial exhibitions using plastination.  This consists of bodily fluids being replaced with a polymer preserving the body.

However, with each body taking 1,500 hours to complete, plastination is not widely available. Typically, its on a donation basis similar to granting your body to science.