Our “Green” Story
From the very beginning, when green burials/home funerals were just “ways that people used to handle death,” we, at A Sacred Moment, have been sowing seeds of change to make these simpler, more sustainable practices household words again. In fact, we have helped create the home funeral/ green burial movements in this country from the start - along with many other wonderful people with similar vision and drive. We are proud of our contributions and want to share them here.
Home funerals are at the heart of our “green” story. Our 20+ years of collective experience and expertise have shown us that caring for a loved one’s body at home is a natural way to simplify the way we “do death.” Using dry ice instead of embalming, choosing biodegradable caskets or shrouds, having viewings at home – these are ecologically responsible practices we can reclaim today.
Char, in her indomitable fashion, has worked tirelessly from the earliest years, to ensure that home funerals and green burials would “take hold” for the future. When the right to have home funerals was threatened, she and other pioneering people founded the National Home Funeral Alliance to educate and promote a family’s right to care for their own dead. She has a long-term professional relationship with Joe Sehee, the founder of the Green Burial Council. Together, the two worked collaboratively on a GBC advisory board to help bring the concept of “green practices” to the modern day funeral industry. She and Brian Flowers, former president of GBC, completed one of the first green burials together at Moles Greenacres Memorial Park/Cemetery in 2008. Now she is working with the People’s Memorial Association and others to research more green burial options for people in the Seattle area.
There are two key areas where Char and A Sacred Moment staff shine. First, we are willing to be a bridge between the old and the new, working hand-in-hand with the existing funeral industry. Second, we believe in the power of networking and community-building to create lasting and meaningful change. Here’s how:
Char works tirelessly within the funeral industry to promote home funerals and green burials - speaking at conferences, teaching at our local mortuary schools and offering internships in our business. Because we always honor people’s choice to have the kind of after-death care they want, we consciously choose to remain a business that balances both conventional and alternative services under one roof.
We strive to build networks/communities that can be creative and sustainable. Like discovering and supporting local cemeteries who want to become “green,” and continuing to work closely with them whenever possible. Like doing business with local and distant artists crafting biodegradable caskets, urns or beautiful cremation art. Or working alongside hospice and other organizations committed to more sustainable services. Aware that knowledge is power, we offer consultation services to help families, social workers, chaplains and communities understand their options and how to successfully navigate the system for fruitful change.
Last, but not least, we are committed to running as green a business as we can. Reducing our environmental footprint and boosting the sustainability of our business is foundational to our organizational philosophy and our mission as a whole.
We are proud to provide carbon off-sets for each cremation that we do. Because cremation generates significant emissions (as well as energy consumption), we feel that purchasing off-sets for this carbon use is extremely important. We are working with the Bonneville Environmental Fund to achieve this. The offsets we purchase directly support projects that have been proven to diminish carbon use and impact, resulting in a net zero carbon footprint for our cremations.
In addition, for each family we serve, a tree is planted in their loved one's honor. Our annual donations to American Forests make these plantings possible. We think that this form of environmental renewal is one of the best memorials we can offer. As the saplings grow bigger, we remember all those who have gone before us. Together, they and we become part of a much greater collective “green story,” so needed today.