What makes a funeral home "green"?
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 ("green caskets")
How do I know if a funeral home is "green" or not?
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. If you're not sure if the funeral home you're working with is "green" or not, you should ask the funeral director there, and he or she should be able to give you a clear answer.
Can I have a green funeral without using a green funeral home?
There are varying degrees of "green" in green funeral planning. You can opt to have the body refrigerated rather than embalmed, you can choose a green casket instead of a conventional casket, you can bury the body in a green cemetery or natural burial ground, or you can opt to cremate the body—all of which are environmentally friendly things to do.
How do I find a green funeral home?
There are green and environmentally friendly funeral homes all across the country. To find a green funeral home near you, use our resource Guide: Finding a Green Funeral Home.
To learn more about green burial, see our article Green Burial.