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Offsetting the Cremation Carbon Footprint

Cremation continues to grow in place of traditional burial across the United States, and this change affects the environment. The cremation carbon footprint grows via the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, so the Cremation Society of New Hampshire (CSNH) is offsetting its carbon footprint from cremation.

By making a long-term commitment to NativeEnergy of Burlington, Vt. CSNH contributes to projects that reduce greenhouse gases . Donations go toward providing 6 million gallons of clean water for the Sidama Zone in Ethiopia. Families in this region have two choices: use polluting wood stoves to purify their water, or risk serious disease. NativeEnergy provides a safe filtration system that does not require electricity, plumbing or the polluting wood stoves. CSNH’s contributions counteract 33 tons of CO2 being released into the atmosphere over the 10-year life of this project, significantly reducing the region’s carbon footprint.

While the Sidama Zone is known for its coffee production, it has little access to sanitation resources for its 8,500+ people. In the Sidama Zone, about 65 percent of the population must use unfiltered water from rivers, lakes and rain pits, which can cause deadly typhoid and diarrhea. Unsustainably harvested wood is used to boil water in an effort to purify it. The NativeEnergy project provides a water filtration system for use in the region. Training on proper sanitation and hygiene practices for residents in the Sidama Zone is also part of the effort.

“Since we have been using the Hydraid filter, nobody is getting sick. Our kids spend more time in school, and Daro and I can focus more on the coffee farm,” said local farmer Bogola Kaeso.

Before the clean water project, the family of 10 suffered from typhoid and diarrhea due to unfiltered river water near their home.

“This is a win-win situation. Offsetting our carbon footprint helps save lives,” said Buddy Phaneuf, President of CSNH. “Going green is a priority for society. We know that cremation services use natural gas and have CO2 emissions, and our aim is to counteract that effect on the environment and work towards becoming carbon neutral.”

Added Phaneuf: “It’s easy for most of us to take clean water for granted, but there are millions of people in the world without access to drinkable, safe water.”

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