How can I find out if I can have a green burial or funeral home in my area?
Green burials and funerals are becoming more and more popular. The first green certified provider was in 2006. Today, there are nearly 300 Green Burial certified funeral homes in the U.S. and Canada. If a green burial or funeral is something you or a loved one are interested in, then there is an option available to you in your state.
If you are interested in having a green burial or funeral, the Green Burial Council website is a great place to start.
There are several ways that a funeral or burial can be considered green. A green funeral is one that uses more natural elements. If there is a viewing of the body, it will not be preserved with embalming fluid prior to the viewing.
A green burial is when a body is buried without the use of embalming fluids. The casket or burial container is biodegradable, and a grave liner is not used.
A green cemetery is one that does not use grave liners. They will also often use more traditional methods of lawn care that do not involve the use of pesticides. A grave liner is a concrete box that keeps the cemetery ground from shifting and allows for large mowers to mow the grass. Since grave liners are not used in a green cemetery there is less mowing and lawn upkeep and the landscape is typically more natural looking.
It is possible to have any, or all of these, green options as part of a funeral and burial. It may be that you are able to find a green cemetery in your area but not a certified green funeral home. Or vice versa.
The first step to finding a green funeral home or cemetery is to check the Green Burial Council website. The Green Burial Council is the only entity that certifies that a funeral home or cemetery is "green.” Funeral homes and cemeteries must undergo a certification process to become certified and are also monitored for ongoing compliance.
The Green Burial Council website has a directory of all the certified funeral homes and cemeteries in the U.S. and Canada. You can search their directory or contact the Green Burial council by phone or email if you have any questions.
If, for some reason, you do not find a certified funeral home or cemetery in your area that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a green funeral.
The Green Burial Council website provides consumer education so you can learn more about what a green funeral or burial entails. This way, you can make sure to ask your funeral home for green choices and options. Many will help find a way to accommodate your preferences. It is also important to note that embalming is not legally required in most cases, so you can decline embalming as one easy step towards having a green burial.