FUNERAL DIRECTORS THINKING ABOUT GREEN FUNERALS

There have been few formal green funerals in Kitsap County so far. But some of the county’s funeral directors are thinking green could be an important color in their future.

Dave Cook, owner of Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, told the Kitsap Sun his clients were curious about the subject. So he said it’s time funeral directors start thinking about it, too.

“This is the future,” he said. “It’s going to either make or break them.”

Cook now has woven caskets for clients to look at. He said he also is looking into the idea of a natural burial ground in the county.

Rill’s Life Tribute Center of Port Orchard is onboard with Cook already. It’s preparing a piece of ground at Sunset Lane Cemetery that could handle as many as 20 green burials, possibly for biodegradable caskets without liners. It should be ready in a year.

Its funeral director, Dave Rill, said, “I agree with Dave. We need to be open-minded.”

Currently, Western Washington has only one natural burial ground certified by the national nonprofit Green Burial Council, and there are only 15 in the nation. The Meadow near Ferndale, overseen by Moles Family Funeral Services of Bellingham, opened in March and contains one body.

The greening of the industry already has some funeral directors looking ahead and wondering.

Chris Henrickson, president of Lewis Funeral Chapel of Bremerton, said, “Everybody is kind of tippy-toeing into this. How much money do you want to expend on something that might not take off?”

Henrickson said his company’s two cemeteries in Bremerton and Poulsbo could be expanded to include green sections.

Local funeral homes say they have used biodegradable urns for the better part of a decade. Most say ones made for putting out on the water are popular in the county. Made of a cardboard-like material, they pause at the water’s surface, then sink and degrade.

“We can’t keep enough of these at the funeral home,” Cook said.

Why?

“I think it’s because we all live so close to the water, and I think it’s just very important to the residents of this area,” said Dave Rasmussen, funeral director at Tuell-McKee Funeral Home of Bremerton.

The  above was an article from the Kitsap Sun

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