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  • Writer's pictureBrooklyn Nieves

Funeral Industry Greenwashing: 9 Key Points to Watch For.

As environmental awareness grows, many industries are embracing sustainable practices, and the funeral industry is no exception. However, not all green claims are genuine. Greenwashing – the act of misleading consumers about the environmental benefits of a product or service – is becoming increasingly prevalent.

Here are nine key points to help you identify greenwashing in the funeral industry and make informed decisions.

1. Misleading Labels

Be cautious of funeral products labeled as "eco-friendly" or "green" without concrete evidence to back these claims. Look for certifications from reputable organizations, such as the Green Burial Council, which ensure that products meet specific environmental standards.

2. Overstated Benefits

Some funeral homes may exaggerate the environmental benefits of their services. For example, a service might claim to be green simply because it uses fewer flowers or less paper. While these are positive steps, they don't necessarily make the entire service eco-friendly.

3. Hidden Trade-offs

Watch out for products that appear environmentally friendly but have hidden trade-offs. For example, a biodegradable casket might contain non-biodegradable components, or a supposedly green burial service might still involve significant carbon emissions from transportation.

4. Lack of Transparency

Transparency is crucial when evaluating green claims. A genuine eco-friendly funeral service should provide clear, detailed information about their practices, materials, and the environmental impact of their offerings. If a provider is vague or evasive, this could be a red flag.

5. Questionable Certifications

Not all certifications are created equal. Some companies create their own "green" labels or use certifications from less reputable organizations. Research and verify the legitimacy of any green certification a funeral provider claims to hold.

6. Partial Solutions

Offering one or two green options does not make a funeral home entirely eco-friendly. Some businesses may promote their green offerings prominently while still engaging in many non-sustainable practices. Evaluate the overall environmental impact of the funeral home rather than focusing on isolated products or services.

7. Pricing Discrepancies

Be wary of significant price increases for eco-friendly options. While some green products and services may cost more due to higher-quality materials or ethical practices, excessive markups can indicate that a company is exploiting the eco-friendly trend for profit rather than genuinely supporting sustainability.

8. Minimal Impact Initiatives

Small green initiatives, like using recycled paper for funeral programs, are positive but do not make up for larger unsustainable practices. Ensure that the funeral home’s green efforts are substantial and impactful, addressing significant aspects of their operations.

9. Genuine Commitment

A funeral home genuinely committed to sustainability will integrate eco-friendly practices throughout their business, from energy-efficient buildings to waste reduction and sustainable sourcing. Look for evidence of comprehensive environmental policies and practices, rather than superficial or isolated green claims.


Navigating the funeral industry’s green claims can be challenging, but understanding the signs of greenwashing can help you make informed, sustainable choices. By scrutinizing labels, demanding transparency, and looking for comprehensive eco-friendly practices, you can honor your loved ones in a way that truly respects both their memory and the environment. Stay vigilant and choose funeral providers who demonstrate genuine commitment to sustainability, ensuring that your final tribute aligns with your values.

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