Green Funerals in Sydney: Your Guide to Natural Burials and Earth-Friendly Farewells

Green Funerals in Sydney: Your Guide to Natural Burials and Earth-Friendly Farewells

In a world leaning towards sustainable choices, Australians are increasingly considering green funerals - in other words: natural funerals, and eco burials. These eco-friendly alternatives respect the planet as they pay tribute to departed loved ones. As interest grows, so does the availability of natural funeral options. 

Here, we’ll go over exactly what makes a funeral ‘green’ and how you might go about planning one.


What Are Green Funerals?

Green funerals, often called 'natural' or 'eco-funerals', focus on sustainability, using biodegradable materials and avoiding harmful chemicals. This ensures that the farewell doesn't harm the Earth, and a welcome by-product of that is that they are generally more affordable than a traditional funeral.

Not only that, green funerals make for a beautiful and fitting way to reintegrate our bodies with the Earth. Some features of a green funeral you might encounter are:

  • Eco-friendly Coffins: Often made from biodegradable materials like bamboo, wicker, or cardboard.
  • No Embalming: Skips the use of chemicals, opting for natural decomposition.
  • Natural Burial Grounds: Use of designated eco burial sites that allow for natural return to the earth.
  • Simplified Grave Markers: Preference for markers like native trees, shrubs, or engraved stones over traditional headstones.
  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: Leveraging local services and materials to minimize transportation and emissions.
  • Organic Shrouds: Use of natural fibres and materials for wrapping the deceased.
  • Minimalist Ceremonies: Often conducted in natural settings, reducing the need for artificial decor and energy consumption.
  • Avoidance of Non-biodegradable Materials: Omission of plastics and certain metals in burial.
  • Eco-friendly Transport: Consideration for transportation methods that reduce environmental impact, like horse-drawn hearses or electric vehicles.


Why Consider an Eco or Natural Funeral?

There are many reasons to consider a green funeral over a traditional funeral. The top three drivers are likely to be:

  1. You may feel an environmental responsibility to reduce your carbon footprint.
  2. Natural funerals are personal, peaceful and often take place in a natural setting.
  3. They are also cost-effective, as they don’t require expensive caskets/coffins or processes that normally attract a higher fee.


Natural Burial Grounds in NSW

Just as important as the ceremony itself, so is the final resting place. New South Wales, Australia is home to several burial grounds that not only offer a serene resting place but also prioritise sustainability and eco-friendly practices. 

These grounds ensure that the impact on the environment is minimal, aligning with the principles of green, eco, and natural funerals. The table below highlights some of the prominent eco burial grounds close to Sydney, but there are many throughout Australia.

Cemetery name



EcoEternity Forest

Blue Mountains

Memorial trees for the interment of ashes in biodegradable urns.

Lake Macquarie Natural Memorial Reserve

Ryhope, Hunter Valley

Memorial rocks for natural burials and the interment of ashes in biodegradable containers. Hand dug graves (not machine dug).

Shoalhaven Memorial Gardens and Lawn Cemetery

Shoalhaven, Nowra

Lawn burials, memorial gardens for the interment of cremated remains with small monuments.

Frenchs Forest Bushland Cemetery

Frenchs Forest, Northern Beaches

Lawn burials for the interment of ashes.

St Francis Natural Burial Field

Kemps Creek, Western Sydney

Sydney’s first natural burial field. Bodies prepared without chemical preserves, or the interment of ashes in biodegradable containers. No formal headstones/monuments - GPS marked graves.

Lismore Bushland Cemetery

Lismore, Northern Rivers

Natural burials and interment of ashes. Natural stone plaques. 


Stone memorial in a natural burial site

Green and Natural Coffins and Caskets

When we think about green, eco, and natural funerals, the coffin or casket becomes a central element in ensuring the entire process remains earth-friendly. Traditional options, while elegant, often involve materials and processes that can be harmful to the environment.

Green and natural coffins and caskets are designed with sustainability at their core. Crafted from materials that return to the earth without causing harm, these choices not only symbolise a respect for the departed but also a respect for nature. Whether made from bamboo, wicker, or untreated wood, these coffins and caskets stand as a testament to an eco-conscious farewell and are a beautiful, minimal choice - particularly when the ceremony is in a natural setting.

Here are some popular options:


Typical Decomposition Time

Environmental Impact


1-5 years

Hand-woven from sustainable willow, biodegradable and has a minimal carbon footprint.


Less than a year

Made from recycled materials, biodegradable and leaves minimal residue.


1-4 years

Rapidly renewable resource, biodegradable, and eco-friendly.

Untreated Wood

10-40 years (varies based on wood type)

Natural, no chemicals, biodegradable, sourced from sustainable forests.


5-10 years

Organic material, biodegradable, sourced sustainably.

Banana Leaf

1-3 years

Renewable resource, biodegradable, and leaves minimal environmental impact.


Biodegradable Woolen Coffin


Cost of a Natural Funeral vs Traditional Funeral

When considering a farewell for a loved one, the financial aspect, while delicate, is inevitably part of the conversation. As society shifts towards more sustainable choices, many wonder how the costs of natural funerals compare to those of traditional ones.

Here are some of the costs associated with traditional funerals, and how they compare to natural funerals:

Funeral Cost



Coffins and Caskets

Typically made of expensive woods or metals, can be costly.

Eco-friendly materials like bamboo or cardboard tend to be more affordable.


Embalming fees add to costs, involving chemicals for body preservation.

Often skipped, reducing both monetary and environmental costs.

Burial Plots

Conventional cemeteries have landscaping/maintenance fees, increasing plot costs.

Natural burial grounds may have reduced costs due to minimal maintenance.

Grave Markers

Granite or marble headstones are standard and can be pricey.

Simple markers like engraved rocks or native plants are more cost-effective.

Memorial Services

Venue and decor fees can add up, especially in elaborate settings.

Natural settings often reduce decor costs, leveraging nature's beauty.


wicker casket
An outdoor funeral with wicker casket


The rising popularity of Natural Funerals

  • Interest in green, eco, and natural funerals has surged according to Google search trends.
  • The Australian Seniors Cost of Death Report revealed that modern funerals are “twice as likely to be environmentally-friendly than not (50.2% vs 25.4%)”.
  • Most funeral homes report increased inquiries about natural and eco funeral options.


Interested in discussing a Green Funeral?

Eco funerals, green funerals, and natural burials are a testament to our evolving relationship with nature. 

We can assist you in all aspects of funeral planning. Whether you’d like to prepay a funeral in advance, or plan the funeral of a loved one, get in touch with our Sydney-based lady funeral team and start thinking about how you can integrate sustainability into the end of life.


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Our compassionate all-female team are dedicated to supporting families in their times of need. We arrange beautiful personalised funeral services in the Ryde area.



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We're here to help

Lady Anne Funerals is here to support and assist your family through what can be a difficult time, with a ladies touch. 

We are available to discuss a range of services to support your family, including: 

  • Personalised memorial services
  • Cremation and burial services
  • Religious services catering to all faith's
  • No service, no attendance 

Please get in touch - night or day - via the form or you can call us on the number below.

Phone: 1300 74 00 74

206 Victoria Road, Gladesville 2111

Let's Talk

Some of the families we've helped

My family and friends were very happy with every aspect of the preparation and celebration of the end of my wife. When I knew the end was near I spoke to Yvonne who explained to me what would happen and this was done with delicacy and tact. When the end came Yvonne came to our house and explained every aspect of what would happen. We explained what we wanted for Margaret's farewell and nothing was too much trouble for Yvonne to explain or discuss. On the day of the funeral everything went like clockwork and all my relatives and friends told me how impressed they were. So thank you to Yvonne for being celebrant and MC at the farewell and thank you to all the Lady Anne team. If I were asked to score the service my family received  it would be ten out of ten.
Dick Hodge
I would like to thank you and the whole team at Lady Anne Funerals for making mums funeral the perfect goodbye. The funeral was everything and so much more than mum wanted. Nothing seemed to be too hard and that made my time far simpler than i had expected. 
The whole day was perfect and we noticed with love all the special touches from the bookmarks to the candle to the display screen with Iris's. Thank you so much. Your team felt like part of the family rather than people doing a job.
That i believe is what sets Lady Anne apart.
I cant thank you enough.

I want to send a heartfelt 'thank you’ to you both, and your team, for your compassion and your assistance in taking meticulous care of Dad and arranging such a beautiful end of life service for him. Within a matter of only a few days, which included a weekend, you were able to organise the perfect service tailored to our requests.

Not only did you organise the attendance of the RSL representative, you also went to considerable trouble to download the music and videos we had chosen, in a format that could be utilised in the service.We greatly appreciated your guidance too with organising the order of service and arranging a printed copy of the tributes for one of our friends who was deaf.

Thank you Yvonne for doing a magnificent job as the celebrant. We greatly appreciated you reading our tributes to Maurie on the family’s behalf. Thank you too for reading the poem, 'The Dash’ so beautifully.

It was comforting for our family and friends to come together in a more intimate setting, which your chapel provides. The light refreshments, which followed the service, were ideal, allowing the family to stay on and share their memories.

Dad quite often had high expectations of the way things should be done, bless him, so I was particularly mindful of doing him proud with this last expression of our love for him and a tribute to his long and meaningful life. We achieved this, with your help, and I know he would have been deeply touched and honoured. Thank you for you for all you did.


"I just wanted to say a big thank you to you and your amazing team. I couldn’t have asked for things to go any better. Everything was perfect. And your ladies were beautiful. Your Yvonne is amazing. She is patient, compassionate, caring and delivers perfection in all the elements of the proceedings. She has been an absolute Gem.

Once again thank you so very much. I would highly recommend anyone to use your company if they want a perfect funeral service. 5 star service. 5 star outcome.

There were multiple compliments on the service, on your ladies and on the care from the attendees. I’m more than happy for you to post this on any media platform as a compliment and tribute to your company.

Thank you."

Anne Leslie
“I just wanted to send you our sincerest thanks for everything you and your incredible team did for us in making the most perfect day, celebration and farewell of our beautiful Harper.

I have given a lot of thought to your business and the industry and I think it is perhaps the most important business for families to get it right when it comes to planning a funeral which may be sudden or may be a long time in the making. Either way, when one is faced with the unfortunate situation of needing to arrange a funeral, only then do you realise the importance of getting it right.

We experienced first hand the polar opposites the industry offers. It is not just about the cars, the booklets, the music and all the things that make up the day - its about the service, the care and most importantly it’s about the people.

From our very first conversation we could sense your genuine care to our situation and your attention to detail was obvious - this was very different to the previous conversations we had with others we had been referred to. Those other companies wanted to commence meetings with the paperwork side of things upfront which is a very confronting thing to do just days after losing your loved one - and when one of the others that I am referencing couldn’t even refernece our daughters name as our meeting started - we were horrified of how poor the service of care could be.

This is where you and your team shine. After feeling very lost in our search to secure the perfect funeral director to create the perfect day, my wife all of a sudden recalled you standing out the front of your office each morning watering the surrounding gardens to ensure a beautiful front of house. Well, I can assure you, it is not just the front of house that is beautiful - its the entire package that is beautiful.

Your manner, your direction and your expertise is evident from the get go. Nothing is too hard for you or your amazing team. The personal care made us feel like we were the only funeral you were working with at the time, and that’s exactly how it should be.

The finer detail, such as driving past our house so our daughter could go past our house one last time, then leaving the most beautiful flowers on our doorstep, to bumping into us at the Church because you were just doing your own research to make sure the day was seamless. This combined with your recommendations from every aspect as everything was very foreign to us, you were able to guide us to achieve the most beautiful farewell.

The day itself was simply perfect. Not once did we have a concern. The car was shining, your team dressed beautifully, cold water provided for us, directions for our guests, directions for us. Everyone commented on how amazing the day was and how incredibly your team were. Seamless is the only word I can use. It doesn’t stop here.

Your personal care and guidance then allowed us a more intimate farewell the following day (we are so grateful for for this recommendation and possibly would have missed this special day if you had suggested it was the best idea). Again, you and your team made us feel like you had nowhere else to be, and no one else to help. Just us. The setting was beautiful, the celebrant (that you arrange and recommend) is a delightful, your team make this day even more special than the last.

This is something we never want to go through again but there will be so many others, that like us, have no idea where to start to look for the right funeral director for their own special day. All I can say is that I hope that they appoint Lady Anne Funerals. We learnt a lot quickly and it is again a business many do not ever consider needing but without question one of the most important businesses to select the right person and the right team.

I welcome any of your future potential clients to contact me if they wish to discuss our experience with the amazing Lady Anne team. We thank you for giving our beautiful baby the most incredible farewell that was exactly how we imagined it, you just made it happen.”

Lee Dowdall

“We wish to thank you for having helped us put together a beautiful farewell for our mother, one which she would have been delighted with.

It was a difficult day and it would have been worse without your synchronised, seamless and consistent presence as well as attention to detail.

We value your candour as the people you are and the very sensitive manner in which you conducted the service.

Thanking you from the bottom of our hearts,

The Pastore Family
Karen has supported my Mum and me through the most difficult week of our lives as we not only planned a funeral, but interred my Dad to his new home. I will be forever grateful to Karen for her ongoing support, guidance, kindness, empathy and friendship over the last week. Karen has now become part of our extended circle of close family friends.
Daughter of the late Sveta Dordevich
Lady Anne Funerals has the compassion, understanding and empathy that many of the larger funeral homes do not possess. My aunts funeral was dignified and classy everything she deserved. I would highly recommend Lady Anne (and have) as they go above and beyond.
Joanne Marks
I am overwhelmed with the feedback on how beautiful it all was from all who attended. You and the other ladies were wonderful, looked so elegant, and made the day so very special for all who loved Paul.
Barbara Sommerville Enright
Karen and her staff treated us with the utmost respect we could not have been in better hands during this difficult time. My mum had organised her funeral with a prepaid funeral plan which she had purchased from Karen almost ten years ago this also made this upsetting time much easier to deal with and she got all the things that she wished for.
Malcolm Ellis
On behalf of my family, I would like to thank Lady Anne Funerals for a beautiful service yesterday for my aunt Dot. All who attended commented on how lovely the service was & the professionalism of all the staff. Thanks again very much for helping making a sad day one of celebration of Dot’s life.
Judith Neville

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