Dying to go green? Canada’s first certified “Green” funeral home can help

BURLINGTON, Ontario–July 28, 2009–Smith’s Funeral Homes is the first Canadian funeral business to be certified by the Green Burial Council
(GBC).  GBC is an independent, non-profit and now international organization that works to ensure funeral and cemetery practices are
eco-friendly and meaningful.

“Running an ecologically responsible business is important to us,” said Don Smith, Owner, Smith’s Funeral Homes.  “This certification demonstrates our strong commitment to high environmental standards and fulfilling the wishes of the families we serve.”

Smith’s uses environmentally friendly suppliers and operates in a way that minimizes the firm’s carbon footprint.  Some of the ways that Smith’s has gone green include:

  • Supplying biodegradable caskets that have no metal, plastics or harsh chemical finishes
  • Offering containers for cremated remains that are biodegradable and made of 100% recyclable materials
  • For every funeral Smith’s handles, a tree is planted in memory of the deceased
  • 100% recycled paper products, including register books and acknowledgement cards
  • Sourcing a supplier that offers plant-based embalming fluids
  • Training staff to address consumer questions about green funeral services and options
  • Environmentally responsible business practices, such as recycling and energy-efficient lighting
  • A commitment to moving towards further eco-friendly business operations
  • Meeting the high standards for certification by the Green Burial Council

“Our commitment to the environment doesn’t stop here,” said Smith. “We will continue to go that extra mile as responsible stewards of our planet’s resources.  For example, we’ll eventually replace the cars in our funeral fleet with hybrids or other eco-friendly options.”

In many ways, going green is simply “business as usual” for Smith’s. Funeral directors work in a constantly evolving service industry that has adapted to other recent trends, such as cremation and personalized funerals.  Ensuring eco-friendly options is simply another way of meeting the needs of bereaved families.

“The Green Burial Council is proud to have Smith’s Funeral Homes as our first approved provider in Canada,” said Joe Sehee, Executive Director, GBC.  “We hope their leadership will encourage others to better serve the needs of both families and the planet.”

The Green Burial Council is a non-profit organization working to make burial more sustainable, economically viable, and meaningful.  Its certification program has emerged as the “gold standard” among consumers, funeral, cremation and cemetery professionals, land trusts, park service agencies and product suppliers.  There are approximately 300 certified funeral and cemetery providers in the GBC network.

“Our staff are dedicated to caring for bereaved families with compassion, understanding and respect,” stressed Smith.  “Ensuring that the final goodbye has a minimal carbon footprint is important to many of the families we serve.  Meeting this need offers a meaningful, personal and healing experience.”

To learn more about eco-friendly funerals and other related topics, visit Smith’s Funeral Homes at one of their three locations in Burlington, Grimsby and Stoney Creek.  Or, visit their website at www.smithsfh.com.

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For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Rayworth, Administrative Assistant
Smith’s Funeral Home
Tel:    905-632-3333 / 905-681-3333
Email:  smithsfh@on.aibn.com

Laura Sharp, Principal
Sharpshooter PR
Tel:    905-842-6153
Email:  laura@sharpshooterpr.com

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