Memorial services are a perfect way for friends and family to celebrate the life of someone they have lost. One common aspect of a memorial used to be a balloon release. Messages were often attached to the balloons before they are released into the sky, as a symbol of letting go. Whilst this sentiment is beautiful and can be a cathartic experience for those who are grieving, it can be harmful to the environment.
Releasing balloons is a beautiful spectacle, but they leave behind plastics which will take decades to break down, causing harm to wildlife. The good news is that there are now many eco-friendly memorial ideas that are great alternatives but still have the same meaning and impact.
Planting a tree is a popular aspect of many memorial services and can be a lovely and meaningful way to celebrate a life. As you plant the tree you can all share your favourite memories of your loved one and know that something beautiful is going to grow that will be there for years to come. It can also act as a location that friends and family can visit when they want to feel close to your loved one.
Whilst any tree or plant can be used, try and opt for something that has a specific meaning. Did your loved one have a favourite tree? All plants and flowers have meanings assigned to them, so can check which meaning resonates most with you. Also, consider how much care and attention the tree or plant will need. If there is not going to be anyone that will have the time to dedicate to caring for it properly, then you must consider something that is low maintenance.
A popular alternative to balloons in recent years is the act of blowing bubbles. Not only do they have the same spectacular impact as a balloon release, but it is an eco-friendly but also relatively low-cost option. Many shops now sell bubble wands or bubble machines. You could even make your own at home. The trick with bubbles is more is more. So for the ultimate bubble display, use a machine and get everyone involved.
Something as simple as scattering petals into a river or stream can also be a nice idea for a memorial service, especially if there was a special lake or stream your loved one liked to visit or that meant a lot to them. Again, people could take turns scattering petals into the water and share their favourite memory of them.
An alternative to planting a tree or flower could be scattering wildflower seeds. Wildflower meadows are great for the environment as they attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, plus they are extremely colourful and stunning to look at.
You could simply scatter seeds or purchase wildflower seed bombs, which are a combination of seeds, clay and compost, on grass or flower beds.
Did your loved one adore the seaside or love going for walks on the beach? If they did, one idea could be for everyone to write a message on a pebble
Memorials celebrate the life of a loved one and having an element of the service being an activity such as blowing bubbles or planting a tree can be a beautiful thing and something you will remember forever. When thinking of memorial service ideas, it is important to think about the environmental impact it has as you do not want something that is remembering your loved one to harm the environment for future generations. Luckily, all the ideas we have discussed are beautiful ways for you to remember your loved one whilst still being eco-friendly.