CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A recent study from Choice Mutual Insurance Agency has found that West Virginia is one of the least-green states in the nation to die in.

What does that mean? It means that the average burial practices in West Virginia have a greater environmental impact than the practices found in most other states.

To reach their conclusion, Choice Mutual examined eight factors across two areas, availability of green burial services and the environmental impact of people’s burial choices

In the end, West Virginia was ranked 50. In the two areas specified, the mountain state was 50 in “Emissions Impact” and 42 in “Sustainable Burial Services Access.”

The following map shows the rankings of each state.

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The chart below shows each state’s rankings based on the areas examined.

Overall RankStateEmissions ImpactSustainable Burial Services Access
1Utah16
2Colorado93
3Washington134
4Vermont151
5Oregon292
49Montana4926
50West Virginia5042
51New Hampshire4051
The Greenest States to Die In, according to Choice Mutual

According to Choice Mutual, these rankings were based on eight factors related to existing burial practices and the availability of sustainable alternatives. They also noted that they concentrated their search towards those 65+ rather than the general population, as “the 65+ population are more likely to be currently involved in end-of-life planning.”

The factors considered were:

  • Per capita emissions from cremation
  • Per capita emissions from traditional burial
  • If aquamation was legal or not
  • Aquamation facilities per capita (of those 65+)
  • If body composting was legal or not
  • Body composting facilities per capita (of those 65+)
  • Green Burial Council certified funeral homes per capita (of those 65+)
  • Green cemeteries per capita (of those 65+)