Green choices now part of Baragar funeral planning

tim 2For many of us living out our days in North Hastings, we have a real respect for the natural environment. We live off the land and we want to minimize any negative impact that we might make. And now, for those who want to carry on their green commitment when they leave this earth, Licensed Funeral Director Tim Baragar is offering more and more green alternatives.

“I try to work with people to figure out what their wishes actually are,” says Baragar. “More people than ever before are coming in and asking about environmental impact and what the green options are.”

Because of this concern, Baragar Funeral Home is offering more and more green choices for clients who want to keep things as natural as possible. The whole team at Baragar Funeral Home is proud to take this love of the natural environment and help people include it as a part of their personalized, final wishes.

And final wishes, according the team, are becoming more and more detailed and unique.

“This is how you are going to be remembered – these are your final wishes,” Baragar explains. “We realise it’s hard to think ahead and plan for when you’re gone but we always encourage people to start the conversation before there is a need. This way we can start to figure out what someone really wants or even more important, what someone doesn’t want. Starting the conversation early also allows you to set a reasonable budget that you are comfortable with and to really figure out what all of your options are. And if the environment and green choices are something you’re looking for, we would be honoured to help you make this final commitment to protecting the natural environment.”

Tim 1Eco-friendly funeral planning often starts with choosing a casket and at Baragar Funeral Home, there are lots of green options that are suitable for a burial or a cremation.

Many of the caskets Tim Baragar displays in his showroom are made close by in Lindsay, Ontario. The craftsmanship is beautiful and these hand made pieces feature environmentally safe stains, finishes and very little metal. And for those who want an even more natural look, Baragar now offers a beautiful line of wicker, bamboo and sea grass caskets.

These eco-friendly caskets are each hand crafted by skilled weavers. Created from sustainable materials such as fast-growing willow, sea grass and bamboo, the caskets have a small carbon footprint because no heavy equipment is used for harvesting the materials. Even the casket linings are made from natural, unbleached cotton.tim 3

Baragar says these caskets are kind to the environment, they look beautiful and they are strong enough to carry up to 350lbs with an eco-friendly base providing some additional support. The caskets work for both viewing and services and then for burial or cremation.

For those who choose cremation as an option, Baragar Funeral Home even offers biodegradable urns that will naturally break down after interment, leaving no environmental footprint.

Preparing the body for viewing, burial or cremation is also something Baragar discusses with clients during the planning stages. If there is a commitment to keep it green, Baragar Funeral Home is ready with lots of options.

Baragar explains that a body can be prepared to whatever degree a family is comfortable with. You can skip embalming altogether and just keep the body refrigerated or you can add different stages of embalming fluids if you require additional preservation for viewings. The embalming fluids used by Funeral Directors today do far less harm to the environment but the fluids still do contain some formaldehyde as a preservative. Formaldehyde will be broken down by natural processes in the soil over time but using less of the fluid is a trend Baragar says he is seeing with his clients. Depending on timelines for viewing and funerals, Baragar Funeral Home can help families make the most environmentally friendly decision when it comes to preserving the body of their loved one.

No matter what someone is looking for, Baragar and his team of professionals welcome a chance to get creative and provide exactly what a family wants. This creative thinking and responsiveness to the needs of the client is what Baragar Funeral Home is so well known for.

Baragar proudly tells the story of working with a family that crafted their own plain wooden box for their loved one. It was then lovingly and creatively decorated by friends and relatives at the service. Baragar has also supervised as grandkids have carved their initials in high-end caskets as a final tribute to a beloved family member.

“It’s all about how you want to be remembered,” Baragar says. “That’s why we work very hard to custom fit every service to that particular individual or family. If you start the conversations with us and record your wishes, we’ll get it right and do exactly what you want. No guessing.”

Even the location of the service can be unique. Baragar Funeral Home has done sunset services at the lakeside of family homes and cottages, they’ve hosted services in barns, on golf courses and they’ve even helped a family find and decorate a Christmas Tree for a funeral that happened during the holiday season.

Tim Baragar says this is an exciting time to be a Funeral Director because the rituals that we associate with death and dying are evolving and changing. While this can make his job more exciting, he still makes it his commitment to care for the needs of the entire family during a difficult time.

“We always strive to embrace traditional values, diversity and innovation in honouring the spirit and life of each person we serve,” Baragar says. “Whatever your need, whatever your wishes, we’re here to start a dialogue, discuss options and take care of all the details.”

And as a final nod to the natural environment, Baragar Funeral Home plants a memorial tree, at no cost, to help honour each life lived as part of an Algonquin Park Stewardship Program.

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