What You Need to Know
The main areas of consideration in a green funeral are the conservation of natural resources, the preservation of the environment, and the protection of the health of industry workers.
Green funeral homes are defined by their willingness to comply with green standards (as set forth by the Green Burial Council), including:
- Making environmentally friendly body storage/preservation available
- Offering to hold a public viewing without embalming
- Offering embalming using non-toxic, non-formaldehyde embalming solutions
- Offering multiple burial containers made from biodegradable or plant-based materials
In order to qualify as a “green” funeral home, a funeral home must make environmentally friendly options available to consumers. Ideally, the funeral home will identify itself and its products and services as “green” and have on staff at least one person who has participated in Green Burial Council-approved educational training. However, it is possible to hold a green funeral with a funeral home that does not advertise itself as green but does make green options available to consumers.
The Green Burial Council is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting environmentally friendly practices in the funeral industry, and has set the standards for green funeral practices in the United States. Under “Approved Funeral Providers” select the state in which you’re looking for a funeral home and click the “Search” button. Results will appear in a list accompanied by an image of three leaves on the right. Mouse over the leaves to get the full description of green services offered by each funeral home.