Eco-consciousness is on the rise and so too are green funerals and burials. In fact, the NFDA considers green funerals and burials one of the top trends in the funeral industry. Being green in funeral service means practicing environmental consciousness and being eco-friendly from service to burial and everything in between.
This new trend can be confusing for some funeral directors, and knowing how to prepare for the increasing number of families that seek a green funeral can be daunting. Whether you are just testing the waters of this new trend, or are already an eco-friendly funeral maven, consider these tips to ensure your firm is THE go-to green funeral provider in your community.
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Sign up to receive news and updates from the Green Burial Council
The Green Burial Council (GBC) is the environmental certification organization that sets the standard for green burial in North America. This action is a simple way to stay updated and educated on the green burial trend. Give the GBC a follow on Facebook and Twitter for even more information on green funerals and natural burials.
Stay up to date with news and updates in the green burial industry by joining the Council’s newsletter list. On the GBC’s website, find Newsletter Sign-Up on the right-hand side and fill out your information to start receiving the newsletter.
Take an educational course
Learn more about green funerals and natural burials by taking a course through the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). Proactively seeking opportunities like these will ensure your funeral home stays ahead of the competition when it comes to meeting your families’ ever-changing needs.
Develop a relationship with certified green product vendors
The GBC certifies funeral and burial products based on a number of criteria. All GBC-approved caskets, urns, and shrouds must be constructed from plant-derived, recycled plant-derived, natural, animal, or unfired earthen materials, including shell, liner, and adornments. The Council compiled a list of all certified product vendors for easy reference.
Stay ahead of the game by developing a relationship with these vendors. Request information on their products today so when families request a green-burial, your funeral home will be prepared to serve them.
Know your local options
There are many green opportunities for families looking for an eco-friendly funeral that go even further than a green burial. Understanding your community and the environmentally- savvy options available at the local level will make your funeral home stand out.
A green funeral can also include:
A small gathering in a natural setting: Research your community for the best parks or conservancies to host a natural farewell gathering.
Use of recycled paper products: This may be harder to locate nearby, but search for vendors that sell memorial folders and register books made from recycled or biodegradable material to really wow your “green” families.
Locally-grown organic flowers: Explore local options for families looking to purchase organic flowers for loved ones.
Carpooling to services or the burial: Are there any local park-and-rides or community lots nearby? Encourage families seeking a green funeral to carpool to and from services or the burial.
Organic food: Research local organic food providers for a way to give families an even more natural experience at their loved one’s funeral gathering.
Planting a tree in honor of your loved one: This long-time funeral tradition is perfect for families seeking a green funeral. Explore options in your community to purchase saplings or seeds and for locations where families can plant a memorial tree.
Think your funeral home fits “green” standards? Become certified with the GBC so families looking for an eco-friendly funeral and/or burial can more easily find your funeral home.
As a GBC-certified funeral home, you will then be granted a license to use the GBC Logo on your website and pre-approved marketing materials. Additionally, you will receive a certificate verifying that your establishment is a certified GBC provider and will be listed on the GBC’s website to create visibility and distinction amongst consumers
Expect to be periodically monitored for compliance to ensure you continue to meet the requirements of certification over time.