• The Duster brothers have a green plan, including EVs, for their family-owned funeral home.
  • The Scottish government awards more than £633,000 to 45 e-bike projects across the country.
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US funeral home is ‘going green’

Duster Funeral Home is a family-owned and operated funeral home that has served Tarentum, Pennsylvania, northeast of Pittsburgh, and its surrounding communities since 1938. It was founded by the late Albert H. Duster Sr. and is currently run by Albert’s two sons, J. Rodney and R. Gary Duster. So it’s got history and roots, but this is a funeral home that is trailblazing, as it’s thinking about its clean energy future – or what they call “going green.”

The Duster brothers just bought a Tesla Model Y as a fleet vehicle (yes, it’s black, as pictured), and say they will buy more EVs to convert to a fully electric fleet.

I wonder if Tesla will start making hearses? Duster brothers, call Elon. I bet he would if you asked. Otherwise, convert a Cybertruck. That would be cool. Someone converted a Tesla Model S into a hearse in the Netherlands in 2017. Check it out [via CleanTechnica]:

According to the National Directory of Morticians Redbook, the number of funeral homes in the US as of 2019 is 19,136. J. Rodney Duster said he doesn’t know of any other funeral homes locally, state, or in the US that have a plan to go green like their funeral home, according to TribLive:

We’re going to be aggressive with it. Short term expensive, long term you gain.

The Duster brothers’ five-year green plan includes going all EV and switching to solar. They have already installed all LED lighting, which they say has significantly brought down their electricity costs, and switched to furniture that is manufactured without the use of chemicals.

Duster Funeral Home also offers environmentally sustainable funerals, in which chemicals are not used in the body. It is then placed into the ground in a biodegradable coffin or shroud. Currently there are some 160 natural burial cemeteries in the US. Only a few are designated Conservation Ground burial sites that specifically aim to restore a natural habitat.

E-bikes in Scotland

The Scottish government has awarded more than £633,000 ($880,000) to 45 e-bike projects across the country.

Through previous rounds of the eBike Grant Fund, almost £2 million ($2.7 million) has been awarded to 104 organizations across Scotland, providing people with access to 830 e-bikes.

The eBike Grant Fund is delivered through Energy Saving Trust, an independent organization dedicated to promoting energy efficiency, low-carbon transport, and sustainable energy use.

In the latest round, schools, hospitals, and community groups will establish projects to adopt e-bikes, adaptive bikes, and e-cargo bikes as an alternative to cars.

For the first time, more than £223,000 ($310,000) of this overall funding package is enabling specific projects that directly support key workers during the pandemic. For example, in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Simon Community Scotland is being provided with a grant of almost £16,000 ($22.2K) to support their outreach work in helping vulnerable people through the assistance of e-bikes.

Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure, and connectivity, said:

In our latest round of funding for e-bikes I’m delighted that more organizations will be able to assist communities and key workers in discovering the benefits of what modern e-bikes can bring.

To help keep the country moving during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve targeted some of this funding to support key and essential workers.

I ride an e-bike – and it’s completely transformed what I thought was possible on two wheels. I’m pleased that with this funding more people and communities will discover how e-bikes and e-cargo bikes can meet their transport needs while improving Scotland’s air quality, health, and sense of well-being.

Photo: Shane Dunlap/Tribune Review

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