How Creating an Ethical Recycling Program Can Benefit Your Funeral Home

How Creating an Ethical Recycling Program Can Benefit Your Funeral Home

It’s no secret how important sustainability is for the welfare of our planet. But when considering potentially sensitive locations like funeral homes, concepts such as ethical recycling aren’t often prioritized.

However, ethical recycling programs can benefit funeral homes in a variety of ways. These programs also benefit families unable to afford essential medical equipment for their loved ones.

Below, you’ll discover a variety of ethical recycling ideas you can utilize to better your practices. And, while an undoubtedly sensitive subject, not intended to offend, discussing sustainability across all industries is a hugely positive step to bettering our planet.

Ethical Recycling Ideas

Biodegradable Coffins

Most traditional coffins are comprised of wood. However, metal components, such as brass and copper, are features of many wooden coffins. Metal makes coffins harmful to the environment and not considered sustainable.

With more funeral homes now offering eco-friendly alternatives, families aren’t restricted to selecting from only wood and metal coffins. Options, such as cardboard, wicker, and even bamboo, are rising in popularity.


Defined as “natural water cremation,” resomation provides a sustainable alternative to traditional cremation. Hydrolysis—using water and an alkaline solution—reduces the greenhouse gases from a single funeral dramatically compared to cremation.

The process takes three to four hours, and the remaining liquid is free of DNA and returned to waterways. Remnants of bone ash can be placed in an urn and given to the deceased’s loved ones.

However, resomation is still considered a relatively new process. While currently available in multiple US states, many other locations worldwide are still awaiting governing regulations.

Medical Recycling

Perhaps one of the most beneficial ideas funeral homes can provide to many families is medical recycling.

A huge volume of essential medical equipment is often thrown away after death. This equipment includes potentially life-saving devices like defibrillators and pacemakers, in addition to practical supplies such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, and walking aids.

If healthcare administrators were to offer thorough cleaning, testing, and refurbishing of these items, they could easily be donated to families who otherwise couldn’t afford them. While still a potentially controversial topic, ethical medical recycling is definitely something to look for in the future.

If you’re a funeral home operator looking to make improvements, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. MKS&H offers professional advice to a range of businesses, including funeral homes.

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