Friday, August 6, 2010

Natural Funerals in the Oregonian



Hello Friends! A great article was posted online and ran in the print edition of the Oregonian on Friday July 29.. "A Natural Return to the Earth". Yours truly, 'Shroud Lady' was quoted in it more than once! Writer Laurie Robinson featured many prominent Oregonians who have been moving the conversation about sustainable funeral practices forward. More and more people are investigating these options and, in fact, Portland's River View cemetery just last month began to allow natural burials anywhere within the cemetery.
This is an interesting idea--alternative to creating a specifically "green" section in a cemetery. There are varying opinions and lots of pros and cons...but in general I'm pleased about this. While I applaud the efforts of those who are creating fully natural cemetery preserves--conservation burial grounds, sustainable landscape management, native species restoration, etc... I also think that making the green option available for people who have already purchased plots in an established cemetery is a very good compromise. And I believe that other people seeing those natural burials, (without vaults, without embalming, using shrouds or hand made pine or willow caskets) .... will be curious and interested to inquire about those options when making their own funeral plans.
I think it's good to 'lay out a path' for people who are curious but maybe not ready to go "100%" toward a natural option. I mean, I prefer to eat all organic foods, but the organic version of every ingredient or product I use just isn't always available. Does this mean I'm a 'fake'? or that my efforts are meaningless? No, of course not. It's the same here, really.
I think it's important to provide ways for people to take steps toward sustainability, and to support and celebrate each of those choices. It's important for people to feel good about their funeral choices, not made wrong or feel intimidated for not being 'perfectly green'. What do you think?
Check out the article http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2010/07/oregons_voices_in_the_green-bu.html
...and remember to click the "Information" box link to find many providers in the Portland area.
see you soon....
Marian (a.k.a. "Shroud Lady")

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