An option – Green burial

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Green Burial Council Honors Rabbi Stuart Kelman & Father Charles Morris with 2012 Leadership Award

The Green Burial Council (GBC) has awarded Rabbi Stuart Kelman of Berkeley, California and Fr. Charles Morris of Wyandotte, Michigan as the co-recipients of its 2012 Leadership Award.

“Rabbi Kelman and Fr. Morris have done more than anyone within their respective religious traditions to advance the notion that death can and ought to be connected to life,” said Joe Sehee, Executive Director of the Green Burial Council who presented both clergy members with their awards at a dinner held at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.

Rabbi Kelman was the leading force behind creating “Gan Yarok” (Hebrew for green garden) in Mill Valley, California; the first Jewish green burial ground situated within a conventional cemetery. Fr. Morris spearheaded the effort to make Mt. Carmel, located in the downriver Detroit suburb of Wyandotte, the first Catholic diocesan cemetery to have a green section.
Green burial is a way of using end-of-life rituals to further environmental aims such as protecting workers health, reducing carbon emission, conserving natural resources, preserving and restoring the habitat.
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Green Burial Council

The Green Burial Council (GBC) is an independent, nonprofit organization founded to encourage ethical and environmentally sustainable deathcare practices, and to use the burial process as a means of facilitating the acquisition, restoration and stewardship of natural areas.

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New England Green Burial Society

How can New England Green Burial Society help?

New England Green Burial Society offers resources, guidance, coordination and direction for those interested in green burial. Our standards are exacting and our commitment to the dignity of the burial process is unwavering. We will assist you with great care through the entire process.

The New England Green Burial Society is a service offering of Keohane Funeral and Cremation Service.

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Markers at Cedar Brook Burial Ground

Marker at CBBG


Markers
may be selected from stones within Cedar Brook Burial Ground. Here is an example of a stone with engraving at CBBG.

If you wish to have a stone engraved, the names of local craftsmen are available. Contact us for this or any other information you desire.

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Less Expensive Green Burials Growing In Popularity


Caskets, cremation, headstones – they are all familiar terms. But have you ever heard of a green burial?  It’s cheaper and growing in popularity.

KDKA’s Susan Koepen reports.

From: ©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc.

Cedar Brook Burial Ground is a Green Cemetery. Click here if you would like more information on green burial options at CBBG.

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Explaining Green Burial To Friends & Family

Posted on Penn Forest Natural Burial Cemetery July 5, 2012
Post written by Nancy Chubb, PhD, MBA

Trees

I was recently asked my thoughts on how to explain green burial to a family member from my perspective as a psychologist.  So here they are:

  • Assume your family member knows nothing about green burial and that your first mission is to explain it, as in “I was reading an article about green burial and how it is the most traditional way to handle the body after death. Have you ever heard of it?” Remember while green burial has been practiced for thousands of years, burial with toxic embalming fluids and concrete burial vaults is what most people now think of as “normal.” Be patient; changing attitudes takes time and education.
  • Talk about green burial with friends who are less invested in the  end-of-life decisions you make for yourself. This will help you get better at explaining your own reasons for choosing a natural burial when you talk to a family member.
  • Don’t try to convince your family members that what is right for you is right for them. That will put them on the defensive and they are not likely to stay open to your ideas.
  • If your family member is not open at all to this “new” option for burial, accept that and let it be.  Just be sure that this person is not appointed as your “Agent for Body Disposition” because if they are, you probably will not get that green burial that you want. If you put a “Green burial is the way to go” bumper sticker on your car, everyone will know what you want!

If you purchase a plot ahead of time, it increases the likelihood that you will end up in it (it doesn’t make sense for the family to buy another plot in a non-green cemetery when there is a lovely site already paid for).  Remember – it is your body, your choice, but you have to set up the legal structure NOW because you won’t be able to after you are dead.

If you’d like to take steps to pre-plan your burial, a great place to start is the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western PA. (Or contact Cedar Brook Burial Ground)

Have you had experience talking to family and friends about your choice for a green burial?  We’d love to hear more about it.  Feel free to leave remarks in the comments below!

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A Will for the Woods

A Will for the Woods – trailer

by Plus

Psychiatrist and concert cellist Clark Wang advocates for natural burial – and plans his own – while battling lymphoma. Joining the budding green burial revolution, which champions sustainable funeral practices that preserve natural areas, he meets former comic lounge singer Joe Sehee, who leads the Green Burial Council, the sole environmental regulator in the vast and entrenched funeral industry.

 

From a post at PennForestCemetery.com

A Will For The Woods

Posted on July 26, 2012 · Posted in Blog
We recently caught up with the folks responsible for the first green burial documentary – A Will for the Woods.  Here is what they shared with us…
Will-for-the-woods logoOver the last three years, we have been producing this documentary on the green burial movement, A Will for the Woods.  Initially, the topic of green burial intrigued us due to the environmental issues surrounding contemporary funerals, and the potentially vast and significant environmental benefits of green burial.  However, over the course of producing the film, we have been equally inspired by the cathartic and spiritual power of connecting to nature that one might experience in a green burial.
We have noticed that there is a lack of frank dialogue around death in the United States. We have a culture that is seemingly obsessed with death but frequently treats honest discussions of mortality as taboo. In starting to move the focus away from fear and toward a sense of connectedness with nature, community, and the cycle of life, the green burial movement has begun to shift the paradigm and culture around death. We hope our film will do the same in its intimate portrait of the movement and our main characters, Clark Wang and Joe Sehee.
Clark, battling lymphoma, is fighting for the right to be buried in a natural way and to make his story known to others, in the hopes of changing the culture around death. Meanwhile, Joe, head of the Green Burial Council, is fighting to establish and uphold the standards and environmental aims of the broader movement, as well as advocate its cause to policymakers and the funeral industry. These two story arcs will be delicately woven together to offer a direct encounter with dying and death-care, and the catharsis that green burial can offer, as well as, a window into the trajectory of this movement.
We believe our film, the first feature-length documentary on this topic, will help to further empower this grassroots movement and Will-for-the-woods-teamreach a large audience. Americans are fascinated by death, but looking for new ways to approach the concept. We hope this film can be a tool for discussion. Over the three years making this film, we have watched the growth of this deeply personal and meaningful environmental movement. It has inspired a broad and diverse group of advocates, and we are hopeful that this green burial movement will impact our cultural ideas around death and dying and also our respect for the natural world.
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Options for Green Burials on the Rise

Pine Forest Memorial Gardens in Wake Forest, N.C. From Newsweek

Cedar Brook Burial Ground offers burials within a tree farm. A stone may be selected from within the cemetery to use as a marker. Plants that occur natural in the area may be planted. For more information or a tour of CBBG contact Peter McHugh at Cedar Brook Burial Ground, Inc.
175 Boothby Road, P.O. Box 511, Limington, ME 04049-0511
207.637.2085
Email: CBBG@MaineGreenCemetery.com

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Why a green burial?

Third World Newsreel is one of the oldest alternative media arts organizations in the United States.

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