NFDA Releases Green Funeral Service Q&A

Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) has released "Green Funeral Service Questions and Answers," an informative document designed to enhance the understanding of funeral directors about what it means to be "green" in funeral service.

NFDA's "Green Funeral Service Questions and Answers" offers definitions of a green funeral home, a green funeral, green burial and a green cemetery. It also addresses issues such as how a funeral director can facilitate a natural burial if there are no green cemeteries in his or her community; formaldehyde-free methods of preserving a body for viewing; ways to discuss green funeral options with consumers; and strategies for creating a green funeral home.

"Every week, reporters from newspapers, television and radio stations, and online news sources are writing about green funerals," said James Olson, CPC, chair of the NFDA work group that developed the document. "Media coverage is driving consumer interest in green funeral and burial options. NFDA developed 'Green Funeral Service Questions and Answers' so that funeral directors can begin to understand this new frontier of funeral service. This document will help them answer consumer questions and determine how they may begin to offer 'green' services to the families they serve."

According to the document, there are many "shades of green" possible when planning a green funeral, based on the consumer's preferences, funeral home and cemetery capabilities, and local laws and regulations. The document reads, "As with the concept of 'green' in general, green in funeral service means practicing environmental consciousness and being eco-friendly. It encompasses green funeral homes, green funerals and natural or green burial. Any funeral home can be 'green' in practice. You have the opportunity to adopt green practices to meet the needs of the families you serve and to improve your business operations."

Funeral directors can obtain the full document under the "Resources" section on NFDA's Website, A consumer-friendly version is also available on NFDA's Website,

"Green funerals are an emerging alternative to the funeral services we're used to providing. This document is meant to be a starting point for helping funeral directors understand green funerals," Olson noted. "Funeral directors may have questions about issues, such as public health issues and the environmental impact of green funerals, that we've not been able to address in this document. NFDA is researching these issues and will continue its efforts to educate funeral directors as new information becomes available."

NFDA is the world's leading funeral service association, serving 19,000 individual members who represent more than 10,200 funeral homes in the United States and internationally. From its headquarters in Brookfield, Wis., and its Advocacy office in Washington, D.C., NFDA informs, educates and advocates to help members enhance the quality of service they provide to families. For more information, visit