Exploring green burials and sustainable options in Singapore

Exploring green burials and sustainable options in Singapore

Sustainability has been a global trend for years now. In the funeral scene, we too, are witnessing a gradual shift in preference towards simpler and greener funeral practices that reduce carbon footprint. Specifically in terms of green burials, the basic idea is to return the body to the earth as naturally as possible.

So, it might not be surprising to learn that the use of chemical embalming is discouraged if you opt for a green burial. After all, this is essential to prevent the risk of contaminating our environment. Then, you might ask: what are the exact green burial options available here? Look no further than this quick guide.

Green burial options in Singapore

1. Sea burial

Sea Burial Singapore

The designated sea burial site south of Pulau Semakau offers a picturesque and serene setting for families to bid goodbye to an important person in their lives.

Sea burials in Singapore involve the releasing of a loved one’s cremated ashes into the sea, south of Pulau Semakau. The sand-like consistency of the ashes allows them to circulate throughout the earth’s oceans with no negative impact.

Instead of scattering the ashes of their kin directly into the water, some families prefer to place the ashes in biodegradable urns. Mindfully crafted with non-toxic materials, these urns will stay gracefully afloat before slowly sinking and dissolving to release the ashes into the water. Often, the gentleness and beauty of the entire sea burial ceremony provides families with a peaceful moment as they pay tribute to a dear one.

Also Read: Funeral Planning Services in Singapore

Biodegradable Urns for Sea Burial Singapore

You can find biodegradable urns made from all forms of non-toxic materials. Some, like the shell urn pictured above, are composed of recycled food-grade paper to have minimal impact on the environment.


2. Inland ash scattering

Inland Ash Scattering

The Garden of Peace is a space of lush greenery for the departed to take their final rest.

Currently, the only inland ash scattering facility opened in Singapore is the Garden of Peace*, a tranquil landscape of greenery nestled within the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery Complex. Family members can take turns to sprinkle the ashes of their loved one into a designated ash scattering lane, lined with pebbles and meticulously maintained vegetation. But take note that as the garden is a secular facility, religious rites and ceremonies are not permitted within the ash scattering area. Religious rites and ceremonies (such as the burning of joss sticks and the offering of food), can however, be conducted at a designated prayer facility next to the garden.

Garden of Peace Inland Ash Scattering

While religious services are not allowed in the Garden of Peace, a prayer facility is available nearby so families can honour their loved ones according to their religious beliefs and traditions. (Image source: National Environment Agency)

Why green burial is necessary in Singapore

Due to Singapore’s small land size, traditional land burials are unfortunately not sustainable. While cremation and the storing of ashes in columbaria may be a solution, green burials—like sea scattering and inland scattering—offer an even better way to conserve our land resources. Nevertheless, it’s important to carefully think through the options, whether you are planning for your own or a loved one’s final journey.

Plan a green burial with the right funeral parlour in Singapore

To ensure that you engage the right funeral parlour in Singapore for a green burial, be sure to take the time to speak with the funeral director in person. Ask as many questions as you need. If you have any ideas or preferences on how to make yours a greener farewell, the consultation phase is the best time to put it out for discussion. To make an appointment with us, please email us at info@directfuneral.com.sg or call our 24/7 helpline at +65 6555 1115.

*A second inland ash scattering facility, the Garden of Serenity at the Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium Complex, is estimated to be ready in 2025.