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Eco-friendly funerals gain ground in Oklahoma

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rmal" style="MARGIN: auto 0in">"It appears to be a growing movement, because some individuals in Oklahoma have expressed an interest in it, but it just hasn't gained momentum in our state yet."

National response from the public and those in the funeral and mortuary business to the Green Burial Council's efforts has been remarkable, Sehee said.

"We've grown from having a dozen providers in our network last year, to having more than 300 right now," he said. "That includes not only the neo-cemeterians and the small casket providers; this includes some of the leading funeral homes."

'AHEAD OF THE CURVE'
While many in the Oklahoma funeral and mortuary businesses are still on the fringe of the green burial movement, Broken Arrow-based funeral director Mark Blankenship said his firm has committed itself to the green burial model by being the first mortuary and cemetery in Oklahoma to pursue certification by the Green Burial Council.

"Our funeral home, our cemetery " this entire operation " has been at the forefront and very innovative for decades, in terms of service and product offerings to families, and not just in the Tulsa area," said Blankenship, general manager of Floral Haven Funeral Home & Cemetery. "I don't believe we've had any requests for green burials. It was simply a response on my part to be the market leader and to try to stay ahead of the curve.

"Green burial may not take off like cremation did several decades ago, but it may, and it behooves us to be prepared for that trend, should it continue to grow."

When asked if donating one's body to science is considered a green option, Sehee expressed mixed feelings.

"Donating your (body to) science is great," he said. "The only problem from an environmental standpoint is: They have to embalm the heck out of those bodies.

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