With the exception of Billy and Kimberley Campbell, no one has done more to advance the cause of green burial in this country than Joe Sehee.
Joe's the executive director of the Green Burial Council, a non-profit organization based in Santa Fe that's both promoting natural burial and keeping it honest. To that end, the Council has established standards that cemeteries must meet in order to be considered true green and will soon release similar standards for crematories and burial products, including caskets.
In last week's post, we looked at the Council's new certification program for funeral homes.
What I like most about the Council's work, and this program in particular, is that it welcomes the participation of the funeral industry in the green burial movement. Joe believes -- as I do -- that the mainstream funeral industry can play a role in the greening of the American Way of Death. Many of the directors I've met are sympathetic to the idea of the natural burial, after all; many more simply accept the fact that they'd be wise to offer the eco goods and services that families in their communities will increasingly request. Instead of demonizing the industry, the Council seeks to educate it in the ways of green burial and, in the process, help it grow.
The interview in the clip above comes compliments of Funeral Gurus, a Canadian web portal where funeral professionals can share ideas about and experiences in the dismal trade. It was taken at the recent annual convention of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA), where Joe was chairing a panel on "going green." Here, Joe talks about the Green Burial Council's work and how the funeral industry can join the movement to green up end of life practices.
Mark Harris Author, Grave Matters (www.gravematters.us)