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Pine caskets for a green hereafter - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Pine caskets for a green hereafter

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RANDOLPH, Vt. -

Jake Garner has his customers in mind when he's in his Randolph workshop.

Making a product that's strong, comfortable and easy to transport.

"I definitely think positively about what I'm doing," Garner said.

Positive thoughts for what can be a tough topic. Garner makes pine caskets.

"Someone's going to be remembering their family member in something I built so I pay a lot of attention to what I'm doing," Garner said.

Death is a part of the job. Garner grew up working with his father at the Day Funeral Home. He made his first pine casket a year ago when a customer asked for one.  Combining his construction experience and knowledge of funerals he created Jake Garner Caskets.

"I'm making it all with my hands, taking my time and building with care and that's a big difference between what I'm doing and what everyone else is doing" he said.

Also different -- Garner thinks about the impact of forever -- once the caskets are buried.  Garner said basic caskets are usually made out of MDF, compressed wood fibers sprayed with formaldehyde and resin that can harm the environment.

"The interior is all natural, the fills everything. Everything in this casket is the lowest toxicity that I can put into it," Garner said.

Garner's caskets are also used for cremations.  He said his pine boxes burn naturally with a smaller carbon footprint then MDF, which can produce toxic fumes and gasses.  In Vermont 65 percent of people choose to be cremated. This year 1/2 a dozen have sold -- a choice for people who also want a viewing.

"I just want things to be a little cleaner, with the rates of people looking to do cremation -- give them an option that's cleaner and made locally," Garner said. "I think when people lead a green lifestyle it's important to them their final event leaving this world is also reflects that green lifestyle."

A woodworker giving people a new option at the end -- that's Made in Vermont.

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