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Regional Trends in Eco-Friendliness That Can Affect Funeral Services

How eco-friendly a state is directly affects disposition options. Let’s take a look at recent data to see how it impacts funeral services regionally.
Eco-Friendliness of States and Funeral Services
Eco-Friendliness of States and Funeral Services

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How eco-friendly is your state? It’s a factor that will impact a lot within the state’s borders from the cost of a gallon of gas to the type of insulation that’s required in a new home. 

Funeral services are also regulated on a state by state basis. Like many industries, the funeral service industry’s eco-friendliness has been assessed, and the assessment wasn’t good for traditional funeral services provided by conventional funeral homes. As a result, there has been a lot of change in the funeral industry. However, the change is more notable in some states and regions than others. 

Let’s take a deep dive into some of the latest statistics to see how eco-friendliness correlates with funeral services in your region. 

Regions That Are Most and Least Eco-Friendly According to the Latest Data

Today, a lot of organizations are measuring eco-friendliness in a lot of ways. WalletHub is known for providing general analysis on the overall eco-friendliness of states. They determine which states are the greenest based on seven factors: air quality, water quality, soil quality, LEED-certified buildings per capita, renewable energy consumption, general energy consumption and gas consumption.

According to WalletHub’s analysis, the five most eco-friendly states are:

New York

The five least eco-friendly states are:

West Virginia

That alone gives us a good idea of which regions of the country are more or less eco-friendly. The northeast is by far the most eco-friendly region collectively followed by the west coast, but in the southeast there’s a lot less emphasis on eco-friendliness. 

But let’s dig a little deeper into the data to see if the trend holds up. 

The use of renewable energy is one measurement of how invested a state is in being eco-friendly. The Pew Research Center found that across the U.S. 67% of people are more interested in boosting renewable energy sources rather than continuing to use fossil fuels. CEOWorld studied how states were handling energy and environmental legislation to determine which states are the most environmentally innovative.

The ten most environmentally innovative states are:

New Jersey
New York

And if you look specifically at green building practices you’ll find that the trends hold up. The U.S. Green Building Council recently released their list of the Top 10 States for Green Building. The states in the top spots are:

New York

In this list there are a few anomalies that are partly due to the frequency of building. For example, Georgia is #33 on Wallethub’s list of the greenest states, but so much construction is happening in the state right now that it’s considered a frontrunner in green building because of how many projects have been completed.

Last but not least, we’ll take a look at public opinion. When Yale University asked adults throughout the U.S. if they thought climate change was happening it’s clear there’s far more concern in the northeast and west coast. 

The states where the most people think global warming is happening are:

New York – 78%
Massachusetts – 78%
Maryland – 78%
California – 77%
Hawaii – 77%
New Jersey – 77%

When you look at the data together it’s clear that public opinion on climate change affects a state’s legislative decisions that impact daily life as well as death. 

How Eco-Friendliness is Trending Across the Country Overall

When you pull back and look at the nation as a whole you’ll find that eco-friendliness is increasing overall. Even in states that are the least eco-friendly there’s been year-over-year improvement. 

It’s not surprising to see clusters where most states in a region have similar levels of eco-friendliness. The surrounding states can have an influence on each other and create a regional group mentality on various matters like funeral services and environmentalism. There are also often cultural similarities between states in a region that influence funeral decisions, like religion.

But all-in-all, the U.S. is becoming more eco-friendly, however the pace of the change is different depending on the region. 

How Eco-Friendliness is Connected to Funeral Services

Let’s take another look at the U.S., but this time we’re looking at which states have approved new, more eco-friendly forms of disposition. These funeral services include water cremation and natural organic reduction (NOR). 

You’ll see that eco-friendliness corresponds with disposition options. How much a state cares about the environmental impact of funeral services is a barometer of how open the state is to adopting new forms of disposition that are less harmful. 

Not surprisingly, places where eco-friendliness is at its lowest are the states where people are least likely to choose aquamation, NOR and green burial. A few states like Utah are the exception, but generally speaking, if a state doesn’t prioritize environmentalism there’s a lower chance they will prioritize disposition freedom. 

But again, we have to look at the overall trends and the universal effect. 

More consumers are becoming eco-conscious, and it plays a role in their funeral decisions. For some people, eco-friendliness is a priority. Because of that, we are seeing a lot more green funeral services being offered. Some funeral homes, like Cremation.Green, specialize in eco-friendly funeral services while others are conventional funeral homes that are expanding their services. 

Why are traditional funeral homes expanding? The funeral home owners are paying attention to the trends, and they understand that they need to adapt to remain relevant. Even in the southeast, more people are interested in green funeral services than in previous years. Funeral homes that offer eco-friendly disposition are casting a wider net to attract more clients. It’s a clear indication that greener funeral services are likely to become the norm, not just a short-term trend. 

Although Texas isn’t at the top of the eco-friendly list, we’re making sure that state residents can arrange any type of green funeral service they want. Whether it’s our proprietary clean flame cremation that’s an eco-friendly version of traditional cremation or innovative natural organic reduction, Cremation.Green gives you options you can feel good about.

Picture of Marlaena Gonzales

Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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