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Are Green Funeral Homes Guilty Of Greenwashing?

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.

Also Check Out:
What Is A Green Funeral?
Preparing Your Child For A Grandparent’s Death
6 Tips For Cutting Through Greenwashing

Image Credit: Flickr – creepyhalloweenimages

Read more: Caregiving, Conscious Consumer, Eco-friendly tips, Family, News & Issues, , , , ,

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Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.


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2:52AM PST on Mar 5, 2013


1:51PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Thanks for the info.

8:14AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

Thank you

3:10PM PST on Feb 20, 2012

My ideal is to donate as much of my carcass as possible to others who can use the parts including skin and bone. Then I'd prefer a sky burial.

I have enjoyed my time on this planet and appreciated all I have received. I'd like to give back that which I will no longer need.

5:55AM PDT on May 3, 2011

Thanks for the article.

10:36PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

Hmm, my green ideal in that respect would be to serve as food for a range of wild animals. Second burial wish would consist of being spread out (squashed, driven over, flattened etc.) on an extremely busy road, just to let people know that they and I are also animals!

8:31PM PDT on Apr 18, 2011


12:37PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Interesting...pretty sad.

5:10AM PDT on Mar 14, 2011

Thanks for the info

5:05PM PST on Mar 10, 2011

Personally, I'm interested in resomation, but being buried without a coffin, as Judith mentioned, sounds good, too.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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