Flowers are standard fare at funerals and apparently have been for millennia. Archeological digs at burials sites have uncovered pollen and flower parts from 60,000 years ago. For most of this history flowers served a dual purpose, bringing the beauty of the natural world into a space of grieving as well as providing scent to cover the inevitable smell of a body in decay (though if a body is kept cool for a home funeral and viewing, odor is rarely an issue for a few days.)
During much of the 20th century, after embalming became widespread, and presently, funeral wreaths, sprays, and bouquets are considered standard as a message of love and remembrance. The majority of these type of arrangements are mass produced with flowers raised in hot houses in other countries. Unfortunately, the environmental impact of these gifts given in love is not often considered.
Mass produced flowers sold in the U.S. are primarily grown in South America where pesticide use is widespread and worker safety is not necessarily a business practice priority. In addition, the carbon footprint involved in transportation by airplane and then refrigerated truck is significant. The SevenPonds organization has information on the potential environmental impact of funeral flowers and ideas for alternatives here.
Should you wish to explore local, organic, or environmentally sustainable mass grower options for flowers for a memorial or celebration of life, Funerea is here to help.