While some cemeteries or funeral homes may market themselves as "green,” to truly be a Green Funeral Home or Cemetery they must be Green Burial Council certified. If you wish to have a green burial, then it is important to make sure the funeral home or cemetery of your choice is certified.
The Green Burial Council has certification programs for both burial grounds and funeral homes.
Green Burial Certified funeral homes and cemeteries are committed to caring for the dead with minimal impact on the environment. They work to conserve natural resources, preserve local habitats, reduce carbon emissions, and protect the health of their workers. They do this using specific "green” standards.
How do funeral homes become Green Burial certified?
To become Green Burial certified, funeral homes must follow the Green Burial Council standards. This means that a funeral home must be transparent about their green burial practices. When a funeral home has committed to using green burial standards, they will not embalm a body. They will only preserve a body using non-toxic and biodegradable chemicals, if they use any at all. They may also use various cooling methods to preserve a body. Another important service includes the availability Green Burial Council approved burial containers which are biodegradable.
How do cemeteries become Green Burial certified?
There are several different types of green cemeteries. All are committed to preserving the natural habitats of the area and conserving natural resources. This means that the cemetery offers an option for burial without the need for a vault, concrete box, or slab. They may also prohibit the use of embalming chemicals. Lawn care may also be done without the use of pesticides and other chemicals, leading to a more natural appearance.
How does the certification process work?
Cemeteries and funeral homes must apply for certification. Their applications are reviewed. Once they are certified they will be listed on the Green Burial Council directory. Green funeral homes and cemeteries are also subject to ongoing compliance monitoring. This means customers can be assured they are making the best choice when deciding on a particular green funeral home or cemetery.
Once approved, funeral homes can display the Green Burial Council logo on their websites and print materials. You can look for this logo when searching for a green burial funeral home in your area.