I always encourage families to do their research and call around to local funeral homes to get prices, info, etc. in order to be prepared, but it can’t be understated how intimidating it can be.
It is still awkward for me and I’m a funeral director!
Since calling a funeral home is the first step I suggested taking in my post about reducing your carbon footprint during cremation, I tried this today myself. I called my closest funeral home (corporate owned) and surprise, surprise, they showed apprehension about why someone would be calling about this. But I pressed on and got some pretty good info. Their retort was installed in 2012, they do about 4-5 cremations a day and are inspected about two times a year, once by the state and once by a preventative maintenance group from the equipment company. They don’t purchase carbon offsets.
To help others who want to try this, I came up with a brief script to use when calling funeral homes about their crematories. I based my questions off of the FCA’s suggested questions for seeking out ethical crematories, focusing on asking the questions you will need to determine what their carbon output is.
My name is --- and I am doing some personal research on cremations and energy usage. I was calling about the equipment your facility uses to perform cremations. [Confirm they are the best person to speak to about this]
My questions are:
How many cremation ovens does your facility have?
Do you know how old that equipment is-or when it was installed?
How often does your facility perform cremations?
If daily: How many cremations per day do you do?
How often does your cremation oven get inspected and who completes the inspection?
Does your facility offer the purchase of carbon offsets for families who chose cremation?
Thank you very much for your time!
Good luck- I’d love to hear what y’all find out