VEGAS INC Magazine - Latest Las Vegas business news, features and commentaries about gaming, tourism, real estate and more
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IN BUSINESS GOING GREEN ECOLOGICALLY RESPONSIBLE TO THE END By Buck Wargo staff writer Even in the afterlife, you can reduce your carbon imprint. A Las Vegas funeral services company is citing green as an alternative to the traditional burial, and the practice appears to be growing. Kraft-Sussman Funeral Services is touting itself as the only company in Southern Nevada certified by the Green Burial Council, an organization founded in 2005 to promote ecologically responsible death care. Instead of the traditional wood and metal caskets, people can choose ones made from renewable materials, such as bamboo, pine and even grasses. Instead of traditional embalming fluids that are toxic and harmful to the environment (both the air and ground), some choose to forgo the preservation to protect nature, said Laura Sussman, the co-owner of the two-year-old, Jewish-owned funeral company. Sussman said green burials fit what’s done in Jewish and Muslim tradition, where embalming fluids are forgone and people are buried in shrouds, which allows the person to biodegrade and go back into the earth. Las Vegas cemeteries require a liner, which can either be concrete or fiberglass that covers the body and keeps the ground above even, she said. They aren’t required underneath the body, she said. Although 40 percent of customers choose cremation, which isn’t considered green because of its use of energy, half of those who choose burial use the green alternative over the traditional caskets, Sussman said. They see green funerals as an option on the company’s list when they’re making decisions on funerals, and that has spurred interest, she said. “The term is coming into play more and people realize it’s better to do less,” Sussman said. It costs something like 20 percent less for a green burial compared with a traditional one, she said. “People who are very ecologically oriented opt for it, but a lot of times people who’ve had a loss aren’t thinking about saving the world,” Sussman said. “We always tell people they don’t have to spend a lot and get a fancy casket to show how much they love someone. They can do something simple to honor them in a nice way.” | 16 MAY 2011 | Patrick Murch Las Vegas: 702-873-4100 Reno: 775-788-2000 19 Building and Sustaining His Green Knowledge. McDonald Carano Wilson congratulates Patrick J. Murch for earning the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional Building Design and Construction (BD+C) accreditation. Murch is the first attorney in Nevada to earn the LEED AP BD+C credential, which provides a standard for professionals involved in the design and construction phases of high-performance, healthful, durable, affordable and environmentally sound commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential buildings. Our lawyers have been advocates of business and economic development in Nevada since 1949. Murch continues this tradition by earning this valued credential that will enable him to better serve our real estate, construction and development clients. This dedication to our clients’ businesses exemplifies our commitment to re-energizing Nevada’s economy. McDonald Carano Wilson is Making the Case for Nevada’s Future. WARD 5 CHAMBER IS LISTED WITH THE STATE CHAMBER, FROM PAGE 18 name due to its state filing. Duncan’s group is listed with the state as the Ward 5 Chamber, he said. “We’re the ones that have the right to use the name in Clark County,” Duncan said. “If anyone is concerned about a lawsuit, it isn’t us. Our goal since they landed here from San Francisco is to work in concert with them for our mutual benefit.” St. Martin said his group has 56 members and hopes to grow by several hundred by the end of 2011. Membership starts at $197 a year for the smallest companies and reaches $1,197 a year for the largest. Members can market themselves with the chamber’s green logo, he said. Despite his criticisms, St. Martin lauded Duncan’s initiatives geared for getting commercial and residential buildings to retrofit and become more energy efficient. Ward 5’s green chamber has 122 members, from $100 a year to $25,000 for a charter member.