Funeral flowers

Action: Use an alternative to flowers at a funeral

This week, please consider an alternative to funeral flowers

Traditionally we present flowers at a funeral. However, their negative environmental impact outweighs the thought behind them.

What’s the environmental issue?

  • Like our food, flowers also have road and air miles that contribute to a large carbon footprint; a single bouquet requires an astounding amount of energy to deliver from soil to shop. Flowers are unsuspected culprits for massive carbon dioxide emissions!
  • Farming cut flowers also uses many harmful pesticides that are toxic to the environment. For example, in 2019 a study found that florist flowers from across Belgium had traces of 107 different active insecticides
  • Florists will often use a whole array of sprays in order to preserve the flowers for as long as possible, but these toxic chemicals harm our environment. As funeral flowers are often left outside, any animal that comes across the toxic flowers can suffer health consequences. Not only that, but the presence of the flowers themselves diffuses the harmful particulates into the air and into circulation, landing on the flora and fauna in the ecosystem, contributing to pollution.
  • Bouquets are tied with ribbons and plastic packaging that pollutes our environment and can entangle and kill wildlife

On top of this, sometimes, for the family, seeing funeral flowers wilt and die can be a distressing sight, almost symbolising that their loved one is now being forgotten along with the flowers. A longer-lasting eco-friendly replacement is due!

Alternative ideas

This is the perfect way to symbolise that their loved one will never truly leave them. With eco-friendly packaging, you can send a special memorial seed card where they plant the card, and beautiful wildflowers will grow from it. The family can nurture the flower, and in turn the flower benefits the environment – win-win! This company – one of many – provides seed cards for all different occasions!

Wild flowers

You can choose from a range of species, and dedicate a tree to the loved one instead of funeral flowers, and the tree can be planted for you or you can arrange for the family to plant it themselves. How sentimental! This way you help restore the forests and allow their memory to live on. The price is as little as a few pounds/dollars/euros per tree, with a special ‘in memory’ certificate.

  • Be creative, and create a lovely watercolour painting or gift a plant from your own garden or windowsill you have grown – be organic and also lend a very personal thought to the event and to the family!

How will this action help?

Every little action like this helps to reduce the pollution in the environment and decrease our carbon footprints.

By choosing alternatives to funeral flowers you can also help to make the environment safer for wildlife and combat the harmful cut flower industry by trying to not to support or buy from it!

You will be avoiding the use of plastic packaging and ribbons which are so damaging.

A changing climate calls for a change in our habits, and by replacing the traditional funeral flowers with these alternatives you can reduce your impact on the environment without losing the sentimental value – or even enhancing it.

This article was originally contributed by “Outdoorsy Anna” Anna Dawson to our parent project “365 Actions”.
Twitter: @OutdoorsyAnnaa
Insta: @outdoorsy.annaa

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