Three and a Half Feet Under: Cemeteries Are Wary of Green Burials

Seven Days
July 19, 2017

Fred Cheyette plans to be buried in a hayfield next to his house in the town of Orange. His body will be wrapped in a simple cotton sheet and placed three and a half feet deep in the earth, with an oak sapling planted atop the grave.

“So my body feeds the tree,” said the 86-year-old retired engineer and psychotherapist, who is peppier and more youthful looking than his years suggest.

Continue reading on sevendaysvt.com

This Is How I Want to Be Dead

The New York Times
July 7, 2017

Years ago, doing some research in England on moles — the burrowing kind — I paid a visit to the grave of Kenneth Grahame. As author of “The Wind in the Willows,” Grahame was the creator of the fictional Mole, a mild-mannered character beloved by children everywhere for messing about in boats, bumbling dimly into the Wild Wood and otherwise misadventuring with Ratty, Badger and Mr. Toad of Toad Hall.

Continue reading at The New York Times

With green caskets, a more earth-friendly end

Boston Globe
December 09, 2016

As Arlington resident and suburban mom Ruth Faas leads a plumber down the stairs off her kitchen, she warns him he might find her basement a bit unusual, and maybe even disturbing.

That’s because it contains the inventory for her business neatly stacked against a wall: coffins.

How did a nice mom like Faas end up with a basement like this?

It’s in her blood. Her uncle ran a funeral home in western New York, a few hours away from where she grew up in Albany. For three summers she baby-sat her young nephews in their living quarters above the home.

Continue reading on Bostonglobe.com

Natural Burial: Bringing Death Back Down to Earth

The Progressive
August 3, 2016

Shelia Champion wasn’t surprised when she got the call saying her father had died. Her father, “Buster” Stice, a one-time cattleman from Stockton, Kansas, was almost eighty-six by then and in hospice care with advanced prostate cancer. On her last visit weeks before, Champion had been shocked at how bad her father looked. As she hugged  him before heading back to Alabama, she suspected it would be their last goodbye. Continue reading on progressive.org.

Dying traditions, and new life, in the funeral industry

Boston Globe
May 16, 2016

Death is inevitable, but, increasingly, traditional burials are not.

From diamonds made from cremated remains to eco-friendly interments, the $20 billion funeral industry is being reshaped, creating opportunities for the entrepreneurially minded — and financial hardship for those with business models more set in stone. Continue reading on Bostonglobe.com

Green burial movement advocates alternative to conventional interment

Daily Hampshire Gazette
November 11, 2015

As green living continues to take a more prominent place in the United States, there is now a growing movement that is focusing on green dying.

“Imagine living your whole life as an environmentally conscious person and at the end of your life, they pump you full of embalming fluid,” said Judith Lorei of Green Burial Massachusetts, and a member of the cemetery commission in Montague who spoke earlier this month at the Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst. Continue reading on Gazettenet.com