Are Green Funeral Homes Guilty Of Greenwashing?
Green funerals have become popular amongst those who want to ensure that their passing will have minimal negative impact on the planet. But because the industry is new, some companies have taken advantage of a lack of consumer knowledge, offering “green” burial services that aren’t really green.
The Green Burial Council, a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization and the standard-bearer for green burial in North America, today announced that it is formally petitioning the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to assist in evaluating organizations involved in standard-setting and/or programs aiming to connect consumers with burial grounds, funeral homes and product manufacturers.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the practice, green burial is a way of caring of the dead that can further such environmental aims as the reduction of carbon emissions, conservation of natural resources, protection of worker health and preservation of habitat
“The green burial movement has opened up choices for consumers in funeral service that only a minority of Americans knew were options just a few years ago,” said Joe Sehee, Executive Director of the Green Burial Council. “But the growing number of associations and for-profit ‘dot orgs’ entering this arena suggests that a great deal of ‘greenwashing‘ could be coming our way. We’d like to see the FTC take a hard look at all these organizations, starting with our own.”
The FTC recently updated its Green Guides, which are intended to inform both consumers and businesses on how to recognize empty or false claims. The public is advised to be skeptical about a number of issues including the proliferation of eco-certification programs run by entities that do not establish verifiable standards and/or are too closely associated with interested parties.
If you’re interested in green burial for yourself or a family member, check out the Green Burial Council’s approved provider search tool.
Image Credit: Flickr – creepyhalloweenimages