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How to Know Funeral Services Are Truly Green

How can you ensure you get green funeral services? Here are 5 ways to make sure the disposition is as eco-friendly as the funeral home claims.
5 Ways to Ensure Funeral Services Are Eco-Friendly
5 Ways to Ensure Funeral Services Are Eco-Friendly

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Interest in green funeral services has skyrocketed in recent years. When we began offering services, Cremation.Green was the first carbon neutral funeral home in Texas. Almost no other funeral homes were even discussing the possibility of eco-friendly disposition. Today, it’s almost the total opposite.

Now, many funeral homes claim to provide green funeral services. The problem is, some of those funeral services aren’t as eco-friendly as they claim. 

In an effort to make sure families get the funeral services they want and expect, we’ve provided more insight on the issue of “green” funeral services and how it can be overcome. 

The Problem: Some Funeral Homes Claim to be Green When They Actually Aren’t – and “Green” Isn’t Defined

Many funeral homes are owned and operated by people in the local community that want to provide an essential service for their friends and neighbors. However, at the end of the day, funeral homes are businesses that have to make money to keep operating. 

Now that over 60% of Americans are interested in green funerals, many funeral homes are adapting. Most are truly changing the way services are provided so that they are more eco-friendly and reflect what clients want. But some funeral homes aren’t as honest and transparent about the environmental impact of their services. It’s something often referred to as greenwashing. 

Any Funeral Home Can Call Itself “Green”

Your initial reaction may be disbelief that a business can make a claim that’s untrue. It would seem like this sort of practice would violate consumer regulations. The problem is that the use of the term “green” isn’t regulated. There are no defined parameters for what is deemed “green”, so businesses of all kinds can claim that their product or service is green when actually it’s no different than conventional options. It’s an issue in virtually all industries today. 

It’s the same as food producers saying their products are “all natural”. There’s no real definition of “all natural” and it isn’t regulated so the claim is made left and right with little to back it up. 

The worst part is when a business charges additional for “green” products and services that provide no extra value or benefit. And when the services that are provided are for a funeral it’s that much worse because of how meaningful it is. For some people having an eco-friendly funeral is important because it aligns with their moral values. It’s also extremely important to the family if having a green funeral was a request of the deceased.  

The Solution: 5 Ways to Ensure the Funeral Services You Pay for Are Eco-Friendly

Funeral services are expensive, and families are emotionally invested for good reason. You deserve to get exactly what you request from a funeral home.  

Despite the existing hurdles, there are ways for families to ensure the funeral services they pay for are actually eco-friendly. Here are some things you can do to ensure you get funeral services that are environmentally friendly. 

Service Selection

The first thing you can do is look at the funeral home’s service selection. Are there various eco-friendly options or is the emphasis on traditional funeral services? For example, Cremation.Green started with flame cremation that was optimized to minimize carbon emissions and energy use. We then expanded to also offer water cremation. Recently, we added natural burial and natural organic reduction services. It’s safe to say, funeral homes that offer nothing but green services are a safer bet. 

Ask What Makes the Services Green

When a business is ambiguous about their product or service that’s a red flag. Just saying that the funeral services are green isn’t enough. A funeral director should be able to tell you exactly what makes their services more eco-friendly compared to conventional options. If they can’t give you specifics you may want to go with another funeral home that can. 

Check With the Better Business Bureau 

Other people that have been swindled by a business can contact The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an invaluable resource for consumers. Their rating of a business (A+ to F) is based on consumer complaints and other performance metrics. It’s a reflection of how the business is likely to interact with a consumer and their trustworthiness. 

Consumers can also leave reviews on a business’ BBB page. The reviews aren’t factored into the BBB rating, but they still provide valuable insight into what it’s like working with the funeral home.  

Check With the State Regulators

The state department that regulates funeral services should be addressing consumer complaints of greenwashed funeral services since it could be considered a misleading business practice. Even if it doesn’t violate a law, it’s unethical. 

What happens after the complaint is filed depends on if a law or licensing regulation was violated, but regardless the verdict will become public record. 

See If the Funeral Home is Recognized as Green 

Is the funeral home a local, regional or national thought leader on eco-friendly disposition? Are they verified by green organizations? Do they have a positive local reputation for their eco-friendly funeral services?

These are all things to look for to verify the funeral home truly does provide green funeral options. If eco-friendly thought leaders vouch for the funeral home it’s a good sign. 

At Cremation.Green our clients know they can trust us when we claim that our funeral services are eco-friendly. It’s our mission to make environmentally friendly funeral services available to all Texans so there’s true disposition freedom across the state. 

We’re happy to discuss how our funeral services differ from the options at traditional funeral homes and what we do to ensure there’s minimal impact.

Picture of Marlaena Gonzales

Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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